EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Despite the chilly weather over the past few days, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) says the ice on ponds at three state parks they routinely monitor is not safe.
Tom Rosa with the DEM said that even if the ice looks safe, it might not be.
He also said that there might be hidden factors underneath the ice, like moving water.
“If it’s exposed to sunlight, that could also affect it,” Rosa said. “Unless you see a sign saying that the ice is safe, stay away from it.”
Rosa said the DEM frequently tests ice thickness at the ponds at Rhode Island’s state parks ─ which include Goddard Memorial State Park, Meshanticut Park and Lincoln Woods State Park ─ to determine whether or not it’s safe to venture out onto the ice.
“They drill a hole into the ice and then they stick the hook down into the bottom of the ice and they measure how thick it is,” Rosa said.
At Goddard Park on Wednesday afternoon, there were some holes in the ice and a sign was posted that read “UNSAFE FOR SKATING.”
Rosa discourages people from doing their own measuring of ice thickness.
“We don’t recommend anyone drill into any ice, we always recommend skating rinks,” Rosa said. “That’s the only thing that you can really consider ‘safe ice.'”