A lot of people have wanted to look at the frozen Missouri River this week, and the Jefferson City Fire Department is reminding residents just to look at the river — don’t get out on it.
The Missouri Department of Conservation posted signs Friday at the Noren River Access Boat Ramp to remind people of the slick conditions.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of people come down, and that ramp can get very treacherous with ice,” JCFD Division Chief Jerry Blomberg said. “It’s a hazard to be near the river right now.”
Several firefighters spent time Friday at McKay Lake for ice rescue training.
While a person falling through ice is uncommon in Jefferson City, it is considered a high-risk event, Blomberg said.
“If you look around town, there’s a lot more standing bodies of water than you think about, like McKay Lake and Hough Park Lake and all those personal ponds,” he said. “There’s just so many of them that we want to be prepared for it because a victim in the water doesn’t have much time. We want to make sure we can get in the water and get them out as quickly as we can.”
The department tries to hold the training annually, but weather dictates whether they train outside or in an indoor simulated environment. With temperatures mostly below freezing over the last couple of weeks, the environment was perfect for outdoor training, which is more realistic, Blomberg said.
Blomberg warned Jefferson City residents to stay off the ice, especially as temperatures continue to fluctuate.
It is illegal inside Jefferson City limits to skate on public waterways, he noted.
“As the weather warms and the ice changes, what you may think is thick ice may not be thick ice,” Blomberg said. “Ice changes so quickly that it’s really just best to stay off of it.”