Rescue efforts ongoing after 100 anglers are stranded on Lake of the Woods

Conditions have prevented many from getting off the lake.
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Rescue efforts are continuing in northern Minnesota after more than 100 anglers became stranded on Lake of the Woods on Sunday.

The drifting snow seen across the state has been causing problems on the giant lake Minnesota shares with Canada, covering ice roads and making it almost impossible for some to get their vehicles and ice houses back to land.

The Lake of the Woods Sheriff's Office said that more than 100 were stranded on Sunday, some of them around 25 miles from land.

Attempts to rescue them are ongoing, with CBS 3 Duluth reporting that workers from nearby resorts have been working along with local authorities to try and get snow plows out, creating new paths for anglers to get off the lake.

Speaking with the Northern Light Region newspaper, Lake of the Woods County Sheriff Gary Fish said the rescue effort is likely to continue into tomorrow.

One of those who was stuck was Allen Foster, of Bemidji, who sent BMTN some images and footage of the predicament he found himself in on Sunday.

"I am down Adrian's road 22 miles from main land and am stranded stuck in slush and snow for 8 hours now," he wrote on a Lake of the Woods fishing Facebook page on Sunday afternoon. "Not sure what I will do once pickup and castle freeze in completely."

In the end, he had to dig out his pickup and ice house before thawing out his tires, which was a clearly arduous process given he only confirmed he'd made it back to land on Monday afternoon.

Another angler who made it out was Jason Schwartz, who told WDIO that he and his family were only able to get back because they'd moved closer to land on Saturday night, before the worst of the storm hit.

"We went about 25 miles out on Lake of the Woods and we had drilled our holes, and the weight of all the snow on the ice was making the water push up and flooding the houses," he said.

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"There’s hundreds of houses out there with trucks hooked up to them, and a lot of them are flooded and frozen into the lake.

"Everyone was stuck where they were, and there (were) people running out of fuel, people running out of propane, (and) people running out of gas in their vehicles trying to stay warm."

The latest updates are being shared on the Northern Light Region Facebook page. 

This was posted on Monday afternoon, with police confirming there are dozens, "possibly more" still stranded on the lake. The four people mentioned as being "unaccounted for" have since been found safe.

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