Warming weather raises concerns about ice

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The weather is getting warmer, leading to some concerns about the safety of the ice around New Hampshire.

After a day of colder weather Tuesday, temperatures are expected to rise to the 50s by Thursday. Officials said that could make for some hazardous conditions on the ice.

“The thing to remember is just because you had safe ice this past weekend, doesn’t mean you’re going to have safe ice next weekend,” Fish and Game Capt. David Walsh said. “The conditions of ice are always changing. They’re unpredictable.”

Walsh said this past weekend’s Rotary Ice Fishing Derby in Meredith had some of the best ice the event has ever seen. But he said the ice thickness, especially on larger lakes, is expected to change by Saturday.

“First and foremost, they need to test the ice,” he said. “Take a chisel or an auger and test it right when you go on. And then test it every 50-100 yards as you go out because ice doesn’t freeze uniformly.”

Officials said another byproduct of warm weather is spring fever, and more people may want to go out on the ice.

“We still get a lot of ice skaters out on the ponds and ice fishing and stuff like that,” Manchester Police Capt. Pete Franggos said. “When people are just waiting to get out of the house and go for a walk, just be cautious. Be very cautious.”

Authorities said that anyone venturing out on the ice should observe common rules of thumb. Six inches of ice will support a person, and 8-10 should be enough to support an ATV.

“There’s also equipment people can carry,” Walsh said. “There are a lot of float coats now. There are built-in flotation devices in the coats. Ice picks, things that help you get out of the ice if you fall through.”

Officials said it’s also a good idea to never go out on the ice alone. They said people going out on the ice should let others know where they’re going and when they plan to return.

2018-02-12 23:27:00

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