Sheriff Hutchinson Issues Thin Ice Warning

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hennepin county sheriff

Press Release


Media Contact: Andy Skoogman, 612-919-5918


Hennepin County Sheriff Issues Thin Ice Warning 

December 12, 2020 (Minneapolis) - Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson is warning people to stay off the lakes and ponds this weekend. The temperatures are too warm, the ice is too thin and the safety risks are too high for citizens and first responders, according to the Sheriff. 

"I know we all have cabin fever in part because of COVID-19 restrictions, but the ice is unsafe," Sheriff Hutchinson said. "The high temperatures today and Sunday will be right around freezing, but the lakes and ponds opened up earlier this week with the unseasonably warm weather. The ice is simply not thick enough or sturdy enough to support anyone."

The latest example of that occurred Friday when two siblings fell through the ice on a pond in Maple Grove. One of the siblings was able to get out of the water and call for help but Maple Grove firefighters needed to pull the other out of waist deep water. Medics transported the victim to Hennepin County Medical Center for possible hypothermia. It was the second weekend in a row someone fell through the ice in Maple Grove and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Water Patrol assisted. 

If you insist on going on the water, Sheriff Hutchinson says have a plan and be extra cautious.

Here are some tips: 

  • Tell people where you are going and never go on ice alone 
  • Wear a lifejacket
  • Have a rope or throw bag available
  • Wear and have ice picks ready for use
  • Physically check the ice where you plan to skate with a chisel or drill

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Water Patrol and the Department of Natural Resources recommend a minimum of 4 inches of ice before it is safe for people.

For additional tips and general ice thickness guidelines, please click here. 



Look for more news on the Hennepin County Sheriff's website at