Officials are spreading the word that ice on area lakes is dangerous. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is encouraging winter time recreationists to take extreme caution with the present icy conditions.
Some Kansas lakes have a cover of ice that may look inviting but there is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice.
The thickness of the ice on area lakes depends on depth, water currents and springs, and natural objects such as tree stumps and rocks. Daily changes in temperature cause the ice to expand and contract, which affects its strength. Because of these factors, no one can declare the ice to be absolutely safe. Some iced-in areas are thinner than others, and appearance alone is a poor indicator of “safe” ice. There is always a risk of falling through the ice.
If you are going to be out around the lakes for any reason, use common sense and practice ice safety. Never venture out onto the ice alone; always be prepared for unexpected breakthroughs; carry large nails or spikes to get a grip on ice if you do go through; and always wear a life jacket when on the ice.
It is important to know the risks associated with icy lake conditions. It can make the difference between an enjoyable outing and a tragic accident resulting in injury or death. The only safe ice is at a skating arena!