Park Rangers Warn Of Dangers Associated With Frozen Bodies Of Water


UPDATED: Tuesday January 22, 2013 5:30 PM

Frigid temperatures are causing ponds and creeks to quickly freeze over, but park rangers said on Tuesday that it could take several more days before they are safe to walk on.

Ranger Kurt Fortman of the Blendon Woods Metro Park said that a man-made ice skating pond at the park may look like a winter wonderland, but the beauty does not run deep.

Experts said that if ice is barely solid enough for skaters, it is not safe to walk on, regardless of the temperature outside.

"That spot there is only an inch and a half," Fortman said. "It's going to take almost a week for this pond to be skateable, which would be four inches, for safety."

Fortman said that the risk grows with larger bodies of water and in creeks or streams with currents.

"I recommend staying off the ice that you're unsure of," Fortman said. 'It hasn't been cold enough long enough for any real ice thickness to be able to substantiate."

Park rangers said that people should not be fooled by snow sitting on top of a pond or creek. Instead of causing a faster freeze, snow actually acts as an insulator and slows the process down.

In Dublin, crews were wetting down a public ice skating rink to get it ready for the after school crowd.

Crews said that the rink was less than a foot deep and that there still was water below the surface.

"Even with this cold weather, this is only four inches thick and it's only become skateable today," said Jeff Myers of the City of Dublin.

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