North

After responding to 3 vehicles that broke through ice so far this year, N.W.T. gov't asks public to be careful

The number of vehicles reported to have gone through the ice around Yellowknife continues to rise. According to the N.W.T. Department of Environment, its spill response team has responded to three vehicles through the ice so far this year.

The Department of Environment is asking the public to take care in light of unusual ice conditions

A car through the ice near Yellowknife. The N.W.T. Department of Environment is asking the public to be aware of unusual ice conditions on water in the Yellowknife area. (GNWT Department of Natural Resources/Facebook)

The number of vehicles reported to have gone through the ice around Yellowknife continues to rise.

In a Facebook post asking for "caution on the ice," the N.W.T. Department of Environment and Natural Resources said its spill response team has responded to three vehicles which have gone through ice so far this year.

This winter several people have plunged through ice in the Yellowknife area, on foot or on snowmobiles.

According to data published on the City of Yellowknife ice measurement and safety website, ice in many Yellowknife area lakes and bodies of water meets or exceeds minimum thicknesses.

But Yellowknife Coun. Julian Morse says the ice is not consistent. He tweeted a map showing areas in Yellowknife Bay reported to be thin.

"I was just sharing the map so people would have an idea of spots where people have actually gone through, and areas they should be avoiding until it gets a bit colder and the ice gets a bit more consistent," he said.

Once ice hits six inches it's generally considered safe, but within limits.

"The six inches [minimum] is only for walking and snowmobiling," said Dennis Marchiori, Yellowknife director of public safety.

"We do not do measurements for people to drive on the lakes or use heavy equipment."

Marchiori recommends people keep an eye on the city website for updates on dangerous ice conditions.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had retrieved three vehicles which had broken through ice so far this year. In fact, the department responded to reports of three vehicles through the ice, but did not retrieve the vehicles.
    Dec 20, 2017 1:26 PM CT

With files from Josh Campbell

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