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KIMT NEWS 3 — Many are making their way to area campgrounds this holiday weekend and may be firing up their grills. Others are heading out on the lakes. But some of our favorite Memorial Day activities also come with some dangers.
Safety officials want folks to go out and have a good time this weekend, but they also want them to be safe while doing so.
The cold, gloomy weather is not what many were hoping for this weekend.
“On a normal weather weekend we’d be out patrolling looking for life jackets, fire extinguishers, throw cushions, general rules of the road safety things,” said Matt Levorson, a Water Patrol Deputy with the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office.
Since the overcast, rainy days have been hanging around for a while, they are causing area lakes to run a little high. So high that some are taking extra precautions.
“We are now looking for people violating that no wake restriction. The no wake restriction means you cannot travel at a speed greater than a no wake speed, or just a general idle speed on a lake,” Levorson said.
There is a good reason for these restrictions.
“We do that not only to protect docks and boats that are already on the water that may have floated up, but also for erosion along the shoreline and things like that,” Levorson said.
Another factor is safety.
‘Hopefully people will follow that and slow down, not just for the dangers and damaging the shoreline but there’s a lot of logs and limbs floating in the water, so people really need to take their time if they’re going to be out on the water, and wear their life jackets,” said Captain Scott Hanna with the Albert Lea Fire Department.
If floating on the water is not your thing and you are thinking of firing up the grill for some guests, Hanna and those at the Albert Lea Fire Department do not want an invite.
“Be kind of cautious on it because it’s a cold and blustery weekend and it’s easy to be trying to hurry up with things. We really want to keep people safe and have a nice holiday weekend and enjoy that grill-out,” Hanna said.
He said you will enjoy your cook-out a lot more if you keep pets and small children away from it, make sure your connections are still good and keep it clean, but also use some common sense.
“Move it out away from the house. Just like other equipment, you can have things go wrong and the last thing you want to do is have your holiday weekend end with your home on fire,” Hanna said.
Levorson said before taking your boat out on the water to check your tabs and make sure they are not expired. He said that is one of the top things they are out looking for.
He also said they are not expecting to see a high volume of boats on the water this weekend because of the weather, but it is still important to stay safe if you are one of the boaters out there.