Officials urging ice safety amid colder temperatures | News


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The message comes after several tragedies over the past few winters where people have fallen through the ice.

EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Local cities and towns are reminding people about ice safety as temperatures drop and ponds appear to be frozen. The message comes after several tragedies over the past few winters where people have fallen through the ice.

Two years ago, a group of college students were skating on the ice at Heritage Pond in East Longmeadow and two of them fell through the ice. Luckily, no one was severely injured, but town officials want people to be cautious this winter.

Heritage Pond is popular for winter ice skating. Even on Wednesday, several children and adults took to the ice to skate or play hockey, but town officials say you’re never totally safe skating on the ice and if you’re going to, you should only do so when the ice is at least four inches thick like it was today.

“The ice is really never safe. You never really know what it’s going to be. The weather plays a huge role in that as weather we’re having right now is going to be a big help. Currently, there’s four inches of ice on the pond. That’s not saying there could be areas on the pond that have less or that have more,” said Darrell Keane, highway and utilities manage for East Longmeadow Public Works.

Keane said the Department of Public Works measures the ice every morning and reports it to town hall. Parents can call and ask about the ice measurements before allowing their children onto the ice.

Unfortunately, tragic ice accidents have happened in the area. Two years ago in Chicopee, two boys fell through ice on the Chicopee River and were killed.

Chicopee and Springfield Police earlier today sent out a reminder to avoid ice fishing and skating on ponds that may not be thick enough. They also said to never stand on ice over any moving water like the Chicopee River.

No ice incidents have been reported this year and officials are reminding people to always err on the side of caution.

Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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