MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Just days after police warned people not to trespass under the frozen Minnehaha Falls for fear of falling ice, hundreds could be seen over the weekend taking a risky up-close look at the popular Minneapolis landmark.
Last week, WCCO-TV viewer Judy Babcock captured on video an incident where a chunk of ice broke off the frozen waterfall and hit a woman who was trespassing in the head. The blow caused the woman to fall, hurting her arm and wrist.
“I made a lot of effort to get [the video] out right away,” Babcock said, “because I didn’t want people to get hurt.”
After the incident, parks officials in Minneapolis urged park-goers to respect the restricted areas because the ice near the waterfall isn’t safe, as it’s constantly shifted by the currents underneath. The warning, however, appeared to do little to stop the flocks of trespassers.
Over the weekend, Babcock returned to the park and found hundreds of people trespassing amid the warmer weather. Later this week, temperatures are expected to climb into the mid-40s, making the ice even less stable, WCCO-TV meteorologist Mike Augustyniak said.
Malinda Sink, who was in town Monday from North Carolina, said she and her family weren’t afraid to go down on the ice, even though they knew about last week’s incident. Sink said the story of the injured woman only made her family think twice about going behind the frozen falls.
On Monday evening, WCCO-TV’s cameras captured several people out on the ice in front of the falls. Those trespassing said the city needs to find a way to get people closer to the falls because people are just going to ignore the signs otherwise.
The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board says it doesn’t have enough officers to effectively police the falls. Meanwhile, the board says it did install mobile police cameras near the falls to monitor the area.