SOUTH BEND — WSBT’s friends on Facebook uploaded a dozen photos of their children building snow forts and snow tunnels. But local firefighters have a warning for parents.
For Don Wilverton, sledding down hills is what winter is all about. He brought his sled to Rum Village Park when he was a kid.
"My father and brothers used to come here every year," he said.
That tradition continues, today, with his grandson, Tony.
Record-breaking snowfall made all of this fun possible.
"This is enjoyable," said Wilverton. "For the kids to get out to enjoy it."
Thanks to WSBT’s friends on Facebook, it's easy to see that parents and their children around Michiana made the best out of a bad situation, but this blast of winter is not all fun and games.
In fact, it can be downright dangerous. Growing piles of snow are the reason why.
It's not only a pain for firefighters who are unable to find hydrants buried under the snow.
"We have a hard time finding those," said Ron Melser, deputy fire marshal for Clay Twp.
Firefighters say the piles pose a risk. Something as harmless as a child's snow fort or tunnel could collapse and kill.
"That can suffocate a child," Melser said.
"Snow is not a very stable material," said Melser. "It can collapse at any time. Any kind of vibrations in the roadway or any kind of shift could make it collapse."
And, Melser cautions: as crews work to clear more snow, there is always the risk they won't see your child inside the tunnel, especially with snow piles close to the road.