24 February 2015
Lake Monticello Police have responded to dozens of calls from residents concerned about children playing on the ice covering the lake, according to LMPD Chief Tom Boisvert. While he empathizes with people – including families – who want to go out onto the ice to skate, Boisvert has serious concerns. “The lake doesn’t have a lot of shallow water areas. If someone falls through, it’s going to be deep.” he said.
Posts to the Lake Monticello Facebook page indicate that many of the children that residents have called to report out on the ice have been unattended by adults.
Jamie Beadle of Lake Monticello Water Rescue explained that the ice that forms on lakes and ponds in Virginia is much more dangerous than the ice that forms farther north. Many Lake Monticello residents remember skating on local ponds and lakes in the northern states where they are from; the ice here is very different, and not safe. “…the type of ice that typically forms in Central Virginia is impacted by many things that make it unsafe to venture out on,” Beadle wrote in an email. “While as little as two inches of clear, strong ice can support a single person - the ice that we have seen form on area waterways in the last week is not clear, and not that thick. At the Lake Monticello main beach on Saturday morning, the ice was only an inch thick near the docks. It also was not clear,” he added, “but cloudy from freeze and thaw cycles.” He added that snow cover on the ice also weakens it.
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