Reports of thin ice along the Battle River prompts the Town of Ponoka to provide some ice safety tips and recommendations to stay off the ice altogether. Black Press file photo

Spring ice safety tips from Town of Ponoka

Reports of people breaking through the ice prompts town to provide some safety tips

Ponoka residents are advised to stay off the river ice.

With spring just around the corner and warmer weather on its way, residents are reminded to be cautious and practice ice safety when strolling along the walking trails beside the Battle River, states a press release from the Town of Ponoka.

“Due to constantly flowing water beneath the ice surface, most rivers will not freeze solid, even during frigid winter conditions,” states the release. “Regardless of how thick the river ice looks, there can be weak spots that quickly give way, sending you, your loved one or your pet through the ice without warning.”

The town recommends people stay off the ice altogether and to keep dogs on a leash in the event the pet does fall through the ice.

“…please keep in mind that the ice may not support you either. Calling for help is the best option, rather than venturing onto the ice yourself,” the release continues.

On small ponds and bodies of non-flowing water, some of the risk factors that can affect ice surface strength include:

• Sudden drops in temperature

• Slushy snow or water on top of ice that may hide cracks in it

• Snow cover may warm the ice and weaken it – even on a cold day

• Any objects (logs, rocks) sticking out from the ice will compromise its strength

• Warm weather, especially springtime, makes ice unpredictable as the ice thaws

Catch basins plugged with ice

As the spring thaw approaches, Ponoka residents are also asked to contact the town to report any catch basins plugged with ice. These may require town staff to attend to in an effort to help them drain.

Please phone the town operations department at 403-783-0159 to report ice-plugged catch basins.

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