MINNEAPOLIS - Finally.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office has declared "Ice Out" on Lake Minnetonka for 2013, more than a month later than they did the previous year.
The declaration is made when a boat can be piloted on Lake Minnetonka through the "Narrows" around Big Island and back to the Sheriff's Water Patrol Unit on Lake Minnetonka in Spring Park. That happened Wednesday morning at 4 a.m.
Typically on Lake Minnetonka, the Ice Out takes place in mid-April. This year's Ice Out on May 1 is among the latest ever recorded, marking only the third time an Ice Out has taken place in May since record-keeping began in the late 1880's.
Previous May Ice Outs were declared on May 1, 1965; and May 2, 1950.
Last year Ice Out was declared on March 20, among the earliest dates ever for the declaration.
Even though the boating season is now officially underway, the Sheriff's Office urges people to take precautions when they are on the water, or near water this time of year. Those reminders include:
- Use caution when boating on Lake Minnetonka, there are many navigational buoys that are not in place yet.
- It's especially important to wear a life jacket when boating. At this time, water temperatures on all bodies of water are cold, if you were to fall into water, hypothermia happens quickly in these conditions.
- When boating or spending time near water, let someone know where you are going and when you will return.
- Parents and caregivers are urged to supervise children when they are near the water.
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