Snow Storm Doesn't Stop Family Fun on Crooked Lake

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

January 8, 2014 Updated Jan 8, 2014 at 6:39 PM EDT

ANGOLA, Ind. (21Alive) - It's been one of the worst storms in our history, but some people in Northeast Indiana are finding the bright spots.

The lowest temperature Hoosiers felt in our region with this system was -15 degrees, and many roads were impassable. But the Millers made the snow and ice fun, right in their own backyard.

"We've been playing hockey. The kids go down and shovel the rink, and I've helped as well," said Sally Miller.

It's a family tradition for The Millers. They shovel off a hockey rink on Crooked Lake every year. This year is no different.

"We have beautiful seasons, you might as well enjoy it, so we do that," said Jeff Miller.

The family admits they do complain sometimes about the brutally cold winters, but say playing hockey helps.

"I guess because it lifts your spirits," said Sally Miller.

The ice is definitely thick enough now for people to be out on the lakes. However, it doesn't matter how cold it gets there are always spots on the lakes where you have to take extra precautions.

"Any spot on the ice where you have current, that flows underneath the ice, whether that be from adjoining bodies of water, rivers, streams, bodies that have moving water, that's going to deteriorate the ice conditions, and it may not freeze as safely as areas that are still," said Cpl. Patrick Heidenreich, Indiana Conservation Officer, DNR.

The Millers might spend a lot of time on the ice in the winter, but safety is a top priority.

"It petrifies me to go on the lake unless I know it's solid. And so we always make sure there's always five or six inches when there's a person on it, which is way over what you really need," said Jeff Miller.

Despite warming temperatures later this week, DNR officer Cpl. Heidenreich expects the ice to remain several inches thick. But as always, he suggests checking the ice, by drilling a small hole, before going out on the lakes.

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