South Haven residents enjoy the snow but police urge them to stay off the lake

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — Much of the lakeshore was under a winter weather advisory on Thursday. Heavy snow blanketed South Haven, covering the roads, trees, beaches and Lake Michigan. Police recommended that people stay off the roads as much as possible. However resident Dana Nelson knew exactly how to enjoy the weather instead.

“We don’t want to stay inside,” said Nelson standing next to her daughters. “We want to get out in the snow and we want to be in it.”

Nelson and her children spent the day sledding down a large hill near downtown South Haven with other friends. She enjoyed getting the kids out of the house and having fun, she said. But the drive there was tough. The roads were slushy. So they took it slow.

“Lower your speeds [and] be safe,” said Sgt. Kyle Griffith with the South Haven Police Department. “Pay attention to the weather reports.”

Sgt. Griffith said it's best not to drive if the roadways aren't safe. The cold temperatures are making them icy as well just like the waves on Lake Michigan. So he suggested people not take a stroll on them.

“Every year the local fire department, in this building, gives out recommendations not to do so,” said Sgt. Griffith. “It is a dangerous condition to walk on the ice. It's very unstable, very poor footing.”

People have injured themselves walking on the ice, he said. In some cases, people have actually fallen into the freezing water. The frozen waves are fascinating to look at he admitted. But it’s safe to do so at a distance and enjoy the winter weather in other ways.

“If it’s going to be cold and we’re going to have this much snow, we want to at least have something to do,” said Nelson.

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