Watch video above: Powerful Lake Erie waves crash onto shore, roadway
CLEVELAND (WJW) – The U.S. Coast Guard is warning of unstable ice conditions on the Great Lakes after rescuing 25 people on Monday.
Crews rescued 11 people, including six children, who were stranded on an ice floe off Sherwood Point, Wisconsin.
The Coast Guard then responded to reports of people stranded on the ice and in the water off Sebewaing, Michigan. Fourteen people were rescued with two suffering from hypothermia.
“The two large ice rescue cases highlight the unpredictability of the ice on the Great Lakes, especially with fluctuating temperatures,” said Capt. Timothy Holt, Chief of Incident Management for the Ninth District. “We appreciate the swift response from all agencies involved and recovering everyone safely.”
So, what does the ice coverage look like on Lake Erie?
FOX 8 meteorologists say we typically see peak ice coverage on Lake Erie during the first few weeks of February.
Earlier this week, we had around 40% ice coverage along the lake. This is the most we have seen all year, dating back to March 11, 2022. Most of this was seen in the western basin.
With warmer temperatures this week, ice coverage has decreased to 20%. It will be hard to sustain any significant ice with the forecast of above temperatures over the next few weeks.
Currently, we are at the fifth lowest in terms of ice coverage. On record, the lowest ice coverage on Lake Erie was 5.4% in 1998.
The Coast Guard urges anyone heading into the water to take precautions, dress for the water temperatures and have a VHF-FM radio or personal locator beacon.
You should also make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you expect to get back.