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Skaters warned- Ice risky

December 29, 2000

Skaters warned- Ice risky



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


The recent cold spell has opened up Cushwa Basin and sections of the C&O Canal in Washington County for ice skaters, but park officials warn that it's skate at your own risk.

"It is open ... But we cannot monitor the ice as we would want to, so it's skate at your own risk," said Martin Gallery, a park ranger for the National Park Service.

Gallery said Thursday that skaters should avoid ice near drains and any spot where water can be seen on top of the ice because the ice might be too thin in those areas. If the temperature climbs above 33 degrees for three or four days, the ice could melt to an unsafe thickness, he warned.

In general the ice is more than 4-inches thick at the basin in Williamsport and on the nearby watered canal sections there and in Hancock, according to Gallery.

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Skating is allowed on sections of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal in Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. when the ice is 4-inches thick.

Gallery said about 10 skaters a day have shown up for the past 10 days in Williamsport.

Recent warm winters have kept ice from getting thick enough for skating on the basin and canal.

Gallery said it's been about three years since skaters could glide on the canal.

For more information or to check conditions, Gallery advised calling the Park Service at 301-582-0813 or 301-739-4200.

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