Thursday, February 20, 2014

2-21-14 winter storm closes apostle island ice caves

BAYFIELD, Wis. (AP) — A winter storm is temporary closing the popular ice caves near the Apostle Islands.  According to the National Park Service, they will shut down at sunset Thursday because the weather could significantly affect Lake Superior ice conditions. Rangers will recheck the stability afterward.  Julie Van Stappen, with the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, says they broke a record last weekend with an estimated 21,000 visitors.  More than 60,000 visited since Jan. 15, which is more the 1/3 of their average yearly visitation. In fact, they've had to seek help from other parks, the sheriff's office, U.S. Coast Guard and Border Patrol.  The storm is expected to drop 14 to 18 inches of snow to northwest Wisconsin through Friday, with 40 mile an hour wind gusts.   The earliest they could reopen is Saturday.

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