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Video: Impressive amounts of Mille Lacs Lake ice push onto shore

Apr 23, 2020 06:12AM ● By Editor

Watch the KARE 11 report here

Image: KARE 11 News

By Sharon Yoo of KARE 11 News - April 22, 2020

Living on the lake, you just never know what the water has in store.

"Big Point catches all the ice as the wind is blowing it to whatever direction," Randy Israelson said. "So things just fell right into place yesterday and you can see what it did."

Israelson is a long-time resident along Mille Lacs Lake's shore. He said his family had owned the property since 1980. He said he's been coming to the property ever since, and has lived there now for quite some time.

The thawing ice from Mille Lacs Lake made quite an impression alright. The crushed up ice, pushed by the wind on Monday stacked up to be some of the tallest piles Israelson said he's ever seen.

"It's insane," Israelson said, looking behind him to admire the glistening pile of ice. "About seven years ago, we kind of had the same thing. Except it came up to be a quarter of what it is. We thought that was really something, but as you can see, this is pretty amazing."

Heavy chunks of honey-combed lake water lined the shore. Israelson said watching it happen, you just had to have been there. The sights and most importantly the sounds of nature creating this giant phenomenon he called, breathtaking.

"It's not as noisy as you would think it would be," he said. "It's a lot of, sounds like tinkling glass? Just shards of that ice rolling over itself and rolling over each other."

The lake water ice reminds the residents that a lake can make its way onto anything, given the wind beneath its icy wings.

"We expect the ice to come in," Israelson said. "We just never expected this catastrophic. This is very - I've been coming to this same spot for 40 plus years and this is the worst I've ever seen it."

It's the worst Mark Ethen said he's ever seen too. It's worse for him, because his newly remodeled lakeside getaway fell victim to the ice. His back yard was crushed under the pile and the ice managed to push its way all the way onto his deck, as well as the rear part of his seasonal home. 

"I think it's a basic combination of all the right things," Ethen said. "Wind direction, thickness of the ice, all those things kind of have to line up."

As much as his heart aches for the remodel that didn't last more than a year, Ethen didn't deny that with a lake as beautiful as Mille Lacs, it's hard to stay away.

"We love the lakes, love the location," he said over the phone. "We love the property and unfortunately, there's things you kind of deal with on a bigger lake."

Israelson explained that he thinks the ice will stick around for a while, depending on the weather. He mentioned Mille Lacs Lake usually has its ice out some time during May. 

To see the original story and read related reporting, follow this link to the KARE 11 website.

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