Vermont’s ice surfaces are getting more and more treacherous. As we get deeper into spring, despite the recent cold weather, ice on waterways is getting weaker and weaker by the day. Because of the increased risk Vermont state, local, and federal partners are advising Vermonters and our visitors to stay off the ice.
Even during the recent cold spell the high sun angle has been absorbed by water below the surface. That warmer water is melting the ice from the bottom up, so even if a surface seems solid it is likely weakened significantly. Warm temperatures forecast will degrade ice even more so it is best to assume that NO ice surface is safe.
If you or anyone you know ventures onto the ice and experiences trouble – keep the following in mind:
• Always keep your pets on a leash if walking near a partially frozen waterway. If a pet falls through the ice do not attempt to rescue your pet, go for help.
• Reach-Throw-Go. If a companion falls through the ice and you are unable to reach that person from shore, throw them something (rope, jumper cables, tree branch, etc.). If this does not work, go for help before you also become a victim. Get medical assistance for the victim immediately.
• If you fall in, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction from which you came. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface, working forward by kicking your feet. Once out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand) and roll away from the hole. Crawl back to your tracks, keeping your weight distributed until you return to solid ice.
The best way to avoid trouble is to avoid the ice entirely until next winter. The water will be open and warm soon enough for us all to safely enjoy Vermont’s lakes and rivers.
Resources for weather and other notifications:
Vermont Alert: http://vtalert.gov
NWS Burlington: https://www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Burlington.gov on Facebook or @NWSBurlington on Twitter
NWS Albany: https://www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Albany.gov on Facebook or @NWSAlbany on Twitter
VT DEMHS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vermontemergencymanagement
VT DEMHS on Twitter: @vemvt … https://twitter.com/vemvt
Vermont State Police on Twitter: @VTStatePolice … https://twitter.com/VTStatePolice
Vermont State Police on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VermontStatePolice
National Weather Service Albany (Forecast office for Bennington and Windham counties): http://weather.gov/aly
National Weather Service Burlington (Rest of Vermont): http://weather.gov/btv
Andy Nash, National Weather Service, 802-862-8711
Senior Chief Dan Murray, U.S. Coast Guard – Burlington, 802-951-6760
Neil VanDyke, Department of Public Safety Search and Rescue Coordinator, 802-241-5656
Michael Cannon, Colchester Technical Rescue, 802-264-5595