May 25th, 2024

City cautions ice not quite ready for recreation


By Lethbridge Herald on December 22, 2021.

The City of Lethbridge is cautioning the public that the four designated skating locations the City monitors for safety, Chinook Lake, Henderson Lake, Legacy Lake as well as Nicholas Sheran (pictured here) currently do not meet City of Lethbridge’s standard for public skating. Herald photo by Dale Woodard

Dale Woodard – Lethbridge Herald

The City of Lethbridge is cautioning those wanting to take an outdoor holiday skate about putting themselves on thin ice.

While there is some colder weather coming in the forecast, the City is alerting residents the four designated skating locations in Lethbridge which city crews frequently monitor for safety – Chinook Lake, Henderson Lake, Legacy Lake and Nicholas Sheran – do not currently meet the City of Lethbridge standards for public skating.

“Our operational staff monitors ice activity on a weekly basis and obviously with the fluctuating temperatures the ice can be unsafe. Currently, the ice is unsafe,” said Blair Richter, general manager, Parks and Cemeteries at the City of Lethbridge, on a windy Tuesday afternoon at Nicholas Sheran Park. “We have four locations where we approve ice, Chinook Lake, Henderson Lake, Nicholas Sheran and Legacy Park. So currently the ice is closed at the moment due to the changing temperatures.”

Despite the warnings, one skater was out on the ice Tuesday afternoon.

Richter said the best way to attain updated ice conditions is by calling 311 or visiting the City of Lethbridge website at http://www.lethbridge.ca/OutdoorSkating for the most recent information.

“Unfortunately, we don’t actively enforce people on the ice,” he said. “But there are signs clearly marked. So we do encourage citizens to follow the rules, pay attention to the signs and try to be safe at all times.”

Throughout the winter months, crews assess ice conditions in the designated skating areas using criteria including the presence of standing water or open water, the amount of freezing that has occurred or snow cover.

The crews also assess the present thickness of the ice – with a minimum of 12 inches for machine clearing – as well as the present condition of the ice, present clarity of the ice and air temperature.

“There are a few factors we use,” said Richter. “One being the thickness of the ice and another is the clarity of the ice and the outdoor air temperature.”

Ice on stormwater ponds is not monitored by the City and residents are reminded to stay safe by keeping off stormwater ponds.

Temperatures are expected to stay above freezing today with a high of five, but the mercury is expected to plummet before Christmas with a high of minus -11 and a low of minus – 21. Thursday, a high of minus -19 and a low of minus -26 Friday and a high of minus -22 and a low of minus -27 Christmas Day.

“I think, given the temperatures coming up, our staff will probably check a little more frequently so people can get out there and enjoy their Christmas holidays and get on the ice if it is safe,” said Richter.

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