Traverse City Record-Eagle

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February 21, 2014

Ice caves unsafe

TRAVERSE CITY — The ice caves that formed along the Leelanau County shore and became an overnight tourist attraction are safe no more.

Winds gusts of 40 miles per hour broke up the ice around the caves, said Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich.

“It’s very treacherous,” Borkovich said. “It was iced-over all the way out to the islands and beyond. Now it’s all open water, which means it’s rolling under those caves and eroding the structure under them.”

The caves formed when wind and waves washed over an ice sheet. Thousands of people went to see the phenomenon, which formed caverns about 300 to 400 feet offshore.

Borkovich expects the caves to collapse sometime soon. He and other county officials advise people to stay away from the caves. The temporary toilets in the area have been removed.

“The show is over,” Borkovich said.

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