Anticipated warm-up creates risk of thinning ice again on lakes, ponds

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On consecutive frigid days, ice on local lakes and ponds is plenty thick enough for ice fishing and snowmobiling. But this week, thin ice is a risk again across western Massachusetts. 

Temperatures will rise above freezing nearly every day this week. 

Toward the end of the week, temperatures could start jumping back into the 40s and even near the 50s again. And without a doubt, that will melt some ice. One long-time resident of Lake Congamond in Southwick told 22News that this means people should be extra careful, as he’s seen tragedy in the past.  

“Just this past year two snowmobiles went in the lake on the other end of the lake. The ice was going down and unfortunately they took the risk and went out,” Arthur Boissonnault told 22News.  

Southwick Police told 22News they monitor the ice, but they do not measure it. That’s because the ice is considered unsafe year-round due to warm underwater currents. 

But the Southwick Police’s warning didn’t stop people from heading out on the ice Sunday, with plenty of ice fishers spending time on Lake Congamond.  

As a general rule, for ice to be safe enough to walk on and ice fish on, it must be at least three to four inches thick. For snowmobiles and ATVs, the ice needs to be at least five inches thick. For cars and small trucks to be safely driven onto ice, there must be at least eight to 12 inches.  

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