US Park Service warns people not to skate on ice at National Mall Reflecting Pool

20:51  09 january  2018
20:51  09 january  2018 Source:   CBS News

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Photo. People walked and skated on the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington on Sunday. In the summer, parks authorities have warned people not to swim or wade in it. The Reflecting Pool has attracted skaters to its winter ice since soon after it was built in the 1920s

Ice skating has been a popular activity in the United States since the 19th century. During the 19th and 20th centuries, residents of Washington, D.C. used the Potomac River, the Tidal Basin, and the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall as their ice rinks.

People play hockey on the frozen Reflecting Pool at the National Mall, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Washington. The bitter cold that followed a massive East Coast snowstorm should begin to lessen as temperatures inch up and climb past freezing next week. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana): Winter Weather © Jose Luis Magana / AP Winter Weather

The sub-zero temperatures over the weekend led to the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall to freeze over the weekend, tempting people to ice skate and play ice hockey.

But the National Park Service, which oversees the National Mall, is warning people not to skate on top of the ice.

"Skating is prohibited at all times on the Tidal Basin and at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Ice skating is permitted at Constitution Gardens only when posted but it has not been determined to be opened at this time," the Park Service says in an alert on its website.

The New York Times published a story about the situation Monday after the Park Service warned that a number of people who recently attempted to skate or walk on the ice, fell through into water, though no one was injured.

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The Reflecting Pool on the National Mall looked more like a stretch of solid tundra, frozen from the steps of Lincoln to the World War II Memorial. But the selfies snapped in the wake of Thursday’s costal bomb cyclone were not on solid ice , according to rangers with the National Park Service .

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But even House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, couldn't resist the call of the ice. He broke the rule and walked onto the ice on at the Reflecting Pool over the weekend, according to a series of photos he posted on his Instagram account with the caption, "Do you want to know how cold it is in Washington, DC.? It's so cold the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is frozen."

A post shared by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (@repkevinmccarthy) on Jan 7, 2018 at 2:41pm PST

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