City warns of thin ice this Winter


As the weather continues to cool, the city of McPherson is warning the community to stay off city waterways, lakes and ponds. Cold temperatures do not guarantee that ice on the lakes and ponds is safe. With the warm and cold temperatures we experience in the winter, it is important that residents stay off city waterways, lakes and ponds until it is safe to do so. The ice may look solid, but that does not necessarily mean it is safe to skate or walk on.

Please obey all posted signs on the city owned lakes and waterways. Please contact the Public Lands and Facilities Department at 620-245-2535.

  • If you or anyone you know ventures onto the ice and experiences trouble, keep the following in mind:
  • Always keep your pets on a leash if walking near a partially frozen waterway. If a pet falls through the ice do not attempt to rescue your pet. Go for help.
  • Reach-Throw-Go: If a companion falls through the ice and you are unable to reach that person from shore, throw them something (rope, jumper cables, tree branch, etc.). If this does not work, go for help before you also become a victim. Get medical assistance for the victim immediately.
  • If you fall in, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction from which you came. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface, working forward by kicking your feet. Once out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand) and roll away from the hole. Crawl back to your tracks, keeping your weight distributed until you return to solid ice.

The best way to avoid trouble is to avoid the ice entirely.

  • -2” or less: Stay Off
  • -4”: Ice fishing or other activities on foot
  • -5”: Snowmobile or ATV
  • -8-12”: Car or Small Pickup
  • -12-15”: Medium Truck
  • Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe. White ice or “snow ice” is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.
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