Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) is warning everyone to avoid all winter recreational activities on ice near hydroelectric facilities because of thin ice. Ice that forms near hydroelectric dams and adjacent reservoirs is often thin, unsafe and inconsistent. This is because of continually changing water flows beneath the ice that forms. This is part of normal hydro dam operations.
"With recent cold snaps, folks are lulled into thinking ice should be thick and safe to be on," according to Bill Bosacki, Superintendent of Regional Generation for WPS. "That may be the case on standing bodies of water, but not the case near hydro-electric facilities. Water below the ice continues to flow at a rapid pace not allowing the ice to thicken."
"We have ropes, barriers and signs warning of THIN ICE. However, we have evidence showing some ice fisherman have been inside the safety zone," according to Bosacki.
This warning is for areas above and below the dams, as well as at adjacent reservoirs.
"We take pride in operating our facilities safely and in a manner that respects the environment and the rights of other users of the waterways. Your safety is important to us," added Bosacki.
WPS owns and operates 15 hydroelectric dams on the Wisconsin, Peshtigo Menominee and Tomahawk Rivers in Northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. WPS owns much of the land near its hydroelectric dams.
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