Ice Safety - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Ice Safety

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Bitterly cold weather has created an ice layer on rivers and lakes around the region.

But on the Mouse River, officials are warning that the ice may still be very dangerous.

Water releases from the Lake Darling Dam have been increased to 300 cubic feet per second.

On this cold morning the steam from the water hitting the frigid air creates a lot of steam - but you can see that the river below the dam is totally open.

Even far downstream, coffer dams and bridge supports are dangerous - with some open water still holding on through the icy weather.

Duane Anderson of Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge says the water flow translates into danger that we should all be aware of.

(Duane Anderson, Upper Souris NWR) "Stay off the ice - it's just not safe. I know snowmobilers like to use the river and obviously that's not safe and of course children in Minot like to play on the river and skate. We urge parents to keep their kids off the ice."

While Anderson cautions about ice on the Mouse River, he says the ice-making weather has been great on Lake Darling itself.

(Duane Anderson, Upper Souris NWR) "We've had probably one of the better years for the formation of ice out there with the cold temperatures and lack of snow. We've had about ten inches of ice earlier this week. Haven't talked to anybody or been out to look at it but we're making ice every day right now so you're going to start to see people moving around on the lake."

Anderson says there are always dangerous areas on lake ice as well and you should be cautious in where you travel when heading for a favorite ice fishing spot.

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