WABASHA, Minn. (KTTC) -- The results are in after the first day of ice measurements on Lake Pepin, and as expected with the cold winter, the numbers are higher than the average year.
Bill Chelmowski of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the average depth of the ice on Lake Pepin on Thursday was 23 inches. The auger actually bottomed out at the deepest part of the ice near the foot of Lake Pepin just north of Wabasha. Chelmowski said there is more than 30 inches of ice in that area, which is significantly deeper than the 22 inches measured at this time last year.
Chelmowski said the ice could get even deeper this year.
"If I remember correctly, we first measured at 24 inches and then when we came back and did our measurements again and we measured at about 26 inches. So it did gain ice again from even last year when we were measuring. Very possibly could do this again this year if we keep up with the cold weather," Chelmowski said.
Crews with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began Thursday morning at Camp Lacupolis just north of Wabasha and measured at every mile for a 21 mile stretch on the Upper Mississippi. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will to take measurements every week until the tow industry is able to break through the ice and make it to St. Paul.
Last year, the first tow to break through the ice was April 8. But Chelmowski said the ice on the river could still get deeper, possibly delaying this year's season as well.
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