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Chicago Fire Dept. Issues Warning To Stay Off The Ice

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Pamela Jones Pamela Jones
Pamela Jones serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS) –The Chicago Fire Department is warning for anybody near any body of water these days to stay off the ice, especially with the warm-up and rain coming Thursday. But not everybody’s listening

CBS 2’s Pam Jones reports the conditions on bodies of water everywhere can fool you.

The sunshine we’ve had is creating weak areas you might not spot until it’s too late. The coming rain makes the ice even more dangerous.

If you fell through the dangerously thin ice anywhere in our area right now, you might get trapped under an endless sheet of ice with no way to breathe.

“That water is so cold. I mean that’s going to shock you,” said Chicago Fire Deputy District Chief Ron Dorneker.

Chicago Fire Department divers trained for ice search and rescues Wednesday at Belmont Harbor. They say sunshine has weakened the ice the last couple of days.

“This was really thick where they were able to go with full gear on, climb down onto this ice shelf and then slide down into the water. But today it’s turned into almost slush ice or like a Slurpee,” said Dorneker.

Edges a victim might try to grab to survive crumble in the diver’s hands.

“Wait until tomorrow when the rain hits it. It’s even going to be weaker,” said Dornecker.

But as the sun set, we found ice fishermen out there despite the danger.

“It’s very risky. You gotta know where you’re walking,” said Ricky Rodriguez.

Rodriguez and his two brothers use the augur they drill fishing holes with to gauge ice strength.

They say they found spots well over 10 inches thick, which they say is enough to hold them and their catch.

“14 to 16 [inches],” said Armando Rodriguez. Very thick. We’ve never seen ice before like that.”

The fire department does not condone anyone being out on the ice because they say even putting one foot out there to measure could be the last step you take.

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