A mildly warm summer — and sometimes even rain, causes headaches in outdoor events planners KSTP

A mildly warm summer -- and sometimes even rain, causes headaches in outdoor events planners KSTP

Metro area lakes along with the individuals who depend on the lakes — are caught in a slippery situation.

“We’ve had several contingency plans put set up, and we hope to we won’t need to utilize the plans in any way,” says Mia Spier who is the event coordinator for the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships.

“There’s certain areas where the snow has pushed the lake and water is sort of flowing through certain regions,” adds Abby Delaney who is the director of sponsorship with the Loppet Foundation.

This January, several lakes are less glam with that sheen of ice — and more slush.

“It began back in December, when we had a decent layer of ice,” explains KSTP meteorologist Matt Serwe. “But later during the middle in December we had around a half-inch of rainfall before the blizzard hit.”

He claims that the lakes in the area are covered in frozen ice that is covered with snow that acts as an insulation.

“When you begin digging in order to get to the ice’s base on a lake, it’s all just will be just slush.” Serwe says. “When you put more snow over this, the insulation gets more dense, and you’ll will not be able to creating a really great tough ice.”

For certain events the timing could not be better.

The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships located at Lake Nokomis, begins the registration process on Thursdaythe games begin on Friday.

The hockey event draws around 2,000 participants from over 250 teams.

However, at the moment the organizers of the event aren’t saying much about how they plan to address the issues.

“We are prepared as if everything is going to be normal. We’re doing everything that we can,” Spier says. “It’s an enormous lake and we’ve come up with some creative ways to snow removal. Our team is on the ground and we’ll continue to work on preparing.”

However, other organizations are also changing their plans.

The Loppet Foundation says its Luminary Loppet show, which is typically held in the frozen lake of Lake of the Isles -it is delayed between February. 5 until February. 18.

“For the security of the event’s organizers and participants, we’re planning to hold off for two weeks before we can start the event,” Delaney notes. “Let winter’s work and then freeze the ice slightly more.”

The organizers of Art Shanty Projects on Lake Harriet have announced that they will move their festival to safer ground and away from entirely off the frozen lake.

The 18 ice homes that are being transformed into art installations, with the related performances are moving onto the Band Shell as well as the picnic areas.

Planners expressed concern over the snowy conditions.

“Plus the temperatures this weekend that are in the mid-30s on Saturday, in the upper 30s Sunday, possibly two days of 40s by the end of next week, and then rain on Monday” Serwe says. “That’s likely make any slushy Ice even more dangerous.”

Delaney states that the most important aspect is security for guests and the people who are working at the events. “We only need a more time so that the lake can be frozen and for the slush to melt down, in essence,” she says. “So we’re thinking that it’s possible that if we get the lakes to stop freezing and get some snow it will be possible to stage an event.”