Warnings issued about falling ice as big thaw begins in NC mountains

BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Tuesday was the warmest day of the year so far across the Carolinas. Of course, anything in the 40s would have accomplished that.

On this day, temperatures went way above those 40s. That, combined with bright sunshine, meant a major thaw was underway. The scenes of frozen ponds and icy waterfalls will melt away in the coming days, and experts are warning people to use caution.

Many rivers and ponds that froze over still appear to have a solid ice surface. The thickness, however, is much less than just a day or two ago.

"It is very dangerous," said South Mountains State Park Superintendent Jonathan Griffith.

He urges people to stay off any ice on the river. He also wants residents to heed the warning signs around the various waterfalls in the park, especially High Shoals Falls where tons of ice has covered the sheer face of the mountain.

"Large pieces will be falling off," Griffith said.

Some of those will be hitting an area where a few people have crossed over a walkway barrier. Officials want people to stay on the walkways and platforms.

Those spots are safe, Griffith says, but anywhere else and someone would be taking a chance.

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