‘Penguin Walk’ is Your Best Bet to Stay Safe When Walking on Ice

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- "She's in a lot of pain and discomfort right now."

Betsy Mitchell's friend slipped and fell on the ice.

"My friend was excited to attend the event at the Civic Center last night and see Aladdin," said Mitchell. "And, apparently walking from her car to the Civic Center building, she slipped on some black ice and fell and very unfortunately broke her arm. So, (she) missed the show and is now dealing with a severe break and everything that goes with that. So, it was an unfortunate situation."

When reached for comment about the incident, a spokesperson for Des Moines Performing Arts provided the following statement:

"Des Moines Performing Arts’ top priority is the safety and security of our guests. Like most Iowans, we monitor the weather and take appropriate steps to address the conditions.  Last night, the Civic Center sidewalks were salted. We encourage guests to use caution when conditions turn icy."

Meanwhile, the Director of Christkindlmarket Des Moines says setting up the Christmas holiday festival outside was a slippery situation.

"Last night we were finishing up the final touches on putting up the production of the festival and our folks were slipping and sliding around to," said Suzanne Hull. "So, that was our first indication that we needed to take action and make the foot paths and the venue safe for people."

Hull expects 50 thousand people to come through the area this weekend.

"We want to keep our guests safe," said Hull. "So, we've got ice melt all over Cowles Commons and we` ve also got ice melt over here on Walnut Street. So, folks shouldn't have any worries about the foot paths."

Jonathan Gano, Director of Public Works for the city of Des Moines, says sidewalks are the adjoining property owner's responsibility to maintain and to remove snow and ice from. City code gives property owners 48 hours to do so.

"It's really on the pedestrian to be aware and cognizant of their surroundings and walk with a safer gate," said Gano. "Kinda that penguin walk."

How does that penguin walk go?

"It`s really just keeping your upper body still while walking with your lowery body," said Gano. "(It's) a way to keep your center of gravity fully engaged and stable while you`re walking on a potentially slippery service."

To find out more about what your responsibilities are when it comes to snow and ice removal, visit dmsnow.org.


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