- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard is urging people to use extra caution when venturing onto ice on the Great Lakes and other area waterways.

Rain, winds and above-freezing temperatures are in the forecast for this weekend. Those conditions are expected to bring melting and weakening ice in the region.

Specifically, the Coast Guard warned Friday about areas including Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and the northern part of Lake Michigan.

The Coast Guard notes ice thickness can vary, even in small areas.

The Coast Guard closes waterways to boats each winter near Mackinac Island, Bois Blanc Island and Beaver Island to allow for the formation of ice bridges. Those typically are used for travel to and from the islands, but the Coast Guard says ice bridges aren’t safe this year.

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