Two young brothers died last weekend while playing on a frozen pond that was deceptively thin. The bodies of T.J. and Nate Frey were found within 20 minutes. Their deaths serve as a reminder to everyone about the dangers as we enter some very cold days.
Temperatures are plunging and that means area lakes and ponds will turn icy quickly.
Fishing in December is not something you see a lot in Nebraska but Ken Carter was hoping to catch his dinner when we ran into him. He's running out of time. Cold weather will put an end to fishing without a hole.
Greg Wagner, with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said, "We're going from open water into a transition period for sheet ice. It's going to take a while for good, hard, solid ice to form and four inches of good, solid ice to support one person.”
Out at Standing Bear Lake, ice is starting to form but early ice is dangerous. It's hard to gauge the thickness.
Wagner said, “You could take four steps, be in a few inches of ice and take another step and right in the drink. So with the lakes and water bodies in our area, there’s no uniformity and it's gonna have to get cold. We're looking at nighttime temperatures for a prolong period of time."
It will take at least a week of days and nights of freezing temperatures to make lakes and ponds in our area safe.
Ken knows the cold weather is on its way and he'll have to be extra careful when his fishing pond at Benson Park freezes over.
“I'm really careful,” he said. "And the older I get, the more I make sure it’s thicker than it really has to be."
If you have to go from the safety of the ice rink to a frozen lake or pond, don’t go alone. You might want to wear a life jacket and you could also drill test holes to make sure you've got those four inches of ice to be safe.