EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 23, 2013

Winter blast arrives in N.H.

Cold air moves in and stays

(Continued)

Ponds and lakes were freezing over after a spring-like thaw over the weekend that saw temperatures soar into the 40s in Southern New Hampshire. But fire officials warn some ice may still not be safe.

Yesterday’s sunny weather drew some people onto the ice, including Hood Pond in Derry. Teens were playing hockey there yesterday afternoon.

Just because it’s cold out, doesn’t mean the ice is safe, according to Salem fire Chief Kevin Breen. He recommends ice be at least 6 inches thick before going onto it.

“Although it’s getting cold, we are still trying to get out the message,” Breen said. “Be careful wherever you are. Just because the ice is thick in one area, doesn’t mean it’s thick everywhere else.”

People have been ice fishing on Canobie Lake in the last few days, but late last week there was open water on Arlington Pond, he said.

Derry fire Lt. Shawn Haggert agreed with Breen that a person can never be too safe when stepping out on the ice.

“You never know when there’s a change of current,” he said.

Animal experts said precautions must be taken to protect pets from the wintry blast that will hit the region. The frigid temperatures are expected to last until Monday.

Pet and livestock owners should make sure their animals are protected from the bitter chill, according to Hampstead Animal Control Officer Sheila Johannesen.

“Any animal, like us, can get hypothermia,” she said. “If it’s too cold for them, it’s too cold for their pet.”

They should be kept inside the house or at least provided some type of shelter from the cold, Johannesen said.

Owners should also make sure their animals have plenty of water because they easily become dehydrated in the cold, she said.

Johannesen also recommends washing pets’ paws if they may have stepped in road salt. Pets can become ill if they lick paws covered with salt, she said.

“Try to wash them off as much as you can,” Johannesen said.

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