Hennepin Co. sheriff bars cars, trucks from lakes 09 Feb 12

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – After a rash of vehicles going into the water, the Hennepin County sheriff’s office is banning cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles from all frozen lakes in the county.

Sheriff’s officials say ice conditions are becoming increasingly unpredictable because of the unseasonably warm weather.

Lake access points were closing Thursday and will remain closed until further notice.

Snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles are still allowed on Hennepin County lakes. But people walking or ice fishing on lakes are urged to be careful because of the thin ice and open water.

Authorities say it’s unsafe for vehicles to drive on lakes, rivers or ponds in Hennepin County. Lake Minnetonka has areas of open water and dangerous channels with moving water.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)