DNR Warns Ice Not Thick Enough Yet

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

December 10, 2013 Updated Dec 10, 2013 at 7:10 PM EDT

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (21Alive) - The temperatures may be dropping, but it's not cold enough yet to fully freeze area lakes and ponds.

DNR officials say, for that to happen, there needs to be a longer span of cold weather to make the ice thick enough.

DNR officers never want to say the ice is safe, but they do have recommendations for how thick it should be before people venture out. They say it should be at least four inches thick before people walk on it.

DNR officials also say even when it does get thick enough it doesn't mean there's no threat. So they suggest always having ice picks, wearing some type of floatation device and having another floatation device to throw to someone else in an emergency.

"That piece of mind that you have floatation because again your clothes are going to become waterlogged very fast, they will be very heavy and you'll spend a lot of energy trying to stay afloat. By having a floatation device on it will keep you above the ice," said Cpl. Patrick Heidenreich, Indiana Conservation Officer, DNR.

Heidenreich says it's hard to say when the ice will be thick enough to go out on. He suggests drilling a small hole near the shore to test the thickness.

He also says there can be thaws throughout the winter and then the ice can freeze again. He says that can also weaken the ice.

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