Property Owners' Association of Deep Creek Lake
Danger - Thin Ice
January 29, 2018

Folks ,

One of our Board members, Ed King, has kindly prepared some cautionary thoughts for your consideration regarding the use of the ice on Deep Creek Lake:
Over the past several weeks of extremely cold weather the lake has frozen to a thickness making it strong enough for many winter activities, such as walking, cross-country skiing, ice skating, fishing, ice boat sailing, kite skiing, and riding snowmobiles.  What fun!  However, with undulating temperatures some of the ice melts each time we see these warm days.  This is particularly true as winter begins to wind down and spring nears.
Throughout the years Deep Creek has claimed vehicles, several lives, and even some of our pets, all because of thin ice or no ice at all.  As the days start to warm, here are a few precautions and places that become dangerous that we should avoid:
  • Places where streams flow into the lake there is quite often open water.
  • Runoff/road salt on the bridges also causes ice melting under the bridges 
  • The same is true for underwater springs where the ice is thin or melts, creating open water.  Under the west end of Glendale Bridge is a good example.
  • Along the shore - The ice usually melts first causing open water as it does so and as the lake level starts to rise.
  • Wind shifts - The wind can move large areas of ice and, if during the day the wind shifts into an off-shore direction, it can move the ice away from where it was accessed.  This situation can require a boat to exit the ice. 
  • Open water - If the lake has areas of open water, it is wise not to go on the ice at all.
Have fun on the ice.  Use good judgment when doing so and be safe.
Bob Hoffmann
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