- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

LAKE CITY, Minn. (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has started taking this year’s measurements of the thickness of Lake Pepin ice.

Every year, the Corps measures the ice thickness on the lake between Minnesota and Wisconsin to forecast the navigational outlook on the Upper Mississippi River.

A Corps survey crew measured the ice on Wednesday. The thickest measurement was 19 inches.

Measurements typically are taken weekly. The navigation industry will use the information to predict when it’s safe to break through the ice and start the 2016 season.

Last year, the motor vessel New Dawn was the first towboat to pass through Lake Pepin and reach St. Paul. The tow arrived March 25, 2015.

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