Sheriff steps up safety precautions on Lake Minnetonka

6:28 PM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
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MOUND, Minn. - If there's someone who knows Lake Minnetonka it's Bobby Carlson. "I love it. People hide in their house in the winter. I come out," he said.

Carlson grew up on lakes and for the last decade has lived near West Arm Bay. While he loves the lake this year he's being extra careful.

"We're finding out that no bridge is safe or anything right now," he said.

Less than two miles from his home a car went through ice near Enchanted Island Tuesday night. According to Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek 18 vehicles have gone through Lake Minnetonka this winter alone, including three fatalities.

Now Stanek is stepping up efforts to keep people off the ice. Several orange snow fences have been placed near channels to bring attention to thin ice and that's not all.

"You're going to see deputies and local police officers at the different access points reminding folks when they're heading out to the lake to be careful," Stanek said.

Since the fences have gone up around his home Carlson said he has seen people stop and turn around, but it doesn't stop everyone.

"I've seen four-wheelers go through the channel today," he said.

Just to be safe Carlson keeps a 100 foot rope on his dock.

"I can literally throw this loop out and so they have this loop to wrap around them," Carlson said.

He hopes to never use it but said the way this season is going it's better safe than sorry.

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