MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Due to warm weather, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is asking people to stay off the lakes and ponds over the weekend.

The ice is too thin, and the safety risks are high, said Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson.

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The warning comes a day after two siblings fell through the ice on a pond in Maple Grove. One was able to get out of the water and call for help, but Maple Grove firefighters had to pull the other out of waist-deep water. The sibling was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for possible hypothermia.

It marked the second weekend in a row that someone fell through the ice in Maple Grove, and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol responded.

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“I know we all have cabin fever in part because of COVID-19 restrictions, but the ice is unsafe,” said Hutchinson. “The high temperatures today and Sunday will be right around freezing, but the lakes and ponds opened up earlier this week with the unseasonably warm weather. The ice is simply not thick enough or sturdy enough to support anyone.”

Hutchinson says that if people still insist on going out on the ice, they should never go alone, and always wear a life jacket. They should also have a rope or throw bag and ice picks ready. Checking the ice where you skate with a chisel is also important, he said.

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