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Minn. officials urge caution on the ice

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

SPICER — Spring-like temperatures and rain that’s predicted for this week could weaken the stability of ice on area lakes.

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The state Department of Natural Resources says it doesn’t take long for ice to become brittle and cautions people not to let their guard down when traveling on frozen lakes.

The average thickness of ice on Kandiyohi County lakes is currently 12 inches, said Dave Coahran, DNR Area Fisheries Supervisor in Spicer.

That’s the minimum thickness acceptable for a medium-sized pickup. A 3/4-ton pickup hauling a big fish house is “at a risk right now with 12 inches of ice,” said Coahran.

While he has not seen deterioration of lake ice yet, the continued warm weather and expected rain will affect the ice quality.

“It could make things more dangerous than they are now,” he said. “We’ll have to watch what the weather does.”

Rain is likely Thursday in Willmar, according to the National Weather Service forecast. Freezing rain is forecast Thursday night and Friday, changing over to snow by Saturday.

A heavy rain will “definitely impact the ice,” said Coahran and a downpour “would be a problem.”

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