By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With the powerful nor’easter blowing out of our area, many people are being tempted to frolic in what appears to be a winter wonderland.

New York City Parks Department officials are reminding people: Stay off the ice.

As the storm exits, bitter cold is being left behind. While bodies of water in the parks may appear to be fully frozen, they frequently are not.

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If you witness someone fall through the ice, officials want you to call 911, not attempt a rescue yourself.

“This year, our parks transformed into sanctuaries of sanity for so many New Yorkers. As we continue to enjoy the wonder of parks this winter, please remember to stay away from dangerous frozen waterbodies in parks,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of our parks’ beautiful terrains and ice-skating rinks this season. It’s a fun way to stay active, enjoy the brisk weather and some family fun–all while staying socially distant from others.”

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There are 96 ponds and lakes in New York City parks. Warning signs and safety ladders – for use by emergency responders – have been placed nearby.

FLASHBACKTwo Children Rescued After Falling Through Ice At Queens Pond

The Parks Department reminds people:

  • Never go on waterbodies that appear frozen.
  • Parents and caregivers should make sure children are never unattended near iced-over waterbodies.
  • If you hear the ice cracking, lie down immediately to try to distribute your weight.
  • If you witness someone falling through ice, call 911 immediately – never attempt to make a rescue by yourself. Be sure to give the exact location and an account of the incident.

Click here for more ice safety tips from NYC Parks

For a list of ice skating rinks in New York City parks, CLICK HERE.

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