July 29, 2014

Encouraging caution for Snowmobilers

A warning for snowmobile enthusiasts.

While some folks are champing at the bit for spring to arrive, many snowmobilers are thrilled with recent big snow storms. “They’re definitely happy any time the snow starts falling.”

Gary Eddy is the Department of Natural Resources snowmobile safety administrator. Considering more than 70 snowmobile crashes and 18 deaths this season, Eddy says sled operators need to be reminded to be aware of the conditions. With more snowfall, comes more riders — and more crashes. “More people are out enjoying that activity and then more people end up, you know, obviously getting involved in fatal incidents.”

Many incidents involved machines breaking through thing ice.

While parts of Wisconsin had heavy snows in the past three weeks, it has been getting warmer. And with rain in the forecast for many areas this weekend, some of that new snow cover will turn to slush. The DNR is working with area clubs and parks departments to put markers along lakes and rivers to warn of the thin ice below the snow.

The U.S. Coast Guard says ice conditions are rapidly getting worse on Lake Superior, the Duluth-Superior Harbor, and their connecting rivers.

Thanks to WIBA