Edmonton crews see big jump in water and ice rescues this holiday season

Click to play video: 'Warm weather in Alberta making ice conditions unpredictable'
Warm weather in Alberta making ice conditions unpredictable
WATCH: With highs reaching above the freezing mark on many days in recent weeks, ice conditions are unpredictable on bodies of water in and around Edmonton. That includes a popular winter destination just south of the city. Jasmine King reports – Dec 31, 2023

Over the holidays, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services were called to more than a dozen water or ice rescues.

Between Dec. 24 and Jan. 1, there were 13 calls related to water rescues or people on the ice.

To compare, over the same time period last year, there was just one such call.

EPCOR also reported some worrisome activity on its storm water areas. Between Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, an EPCOR spokesperson said there was “evidence of human activity” — like footprints, shoveled sections or skating tracks — at six different storm water management facilities.

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Crews were out on Tuesday, conducting inspections to determine if any other activities occurred over the weekend.

“Storm water management facilities are not safe for any type of winter recreation,” EPCOR said. “Many people refer to these facilities as ponds, but they are not ponds. They are actually engineered flood mitigation facilities where water is continuously flowing through pipes beneath the frozen surface, which causes ice surfaces to be unpredictable and dangerous.”

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