Battling ice, cold and a vehcile that didn’t seem to want to be rescued, city officials worked this morning to pull a parks department pickup truck from icy Iroquois Lake in Central Park.
The truck was clearing snow from the lake in preparation for ice skating when it broke through at about 6 a.m., Deputy Fire Chief Rod Rosate said this morning. The driver escaped unharmed.
But the pickup truck soon sunk in, with the tip of the cab and bed all that could be seen. The truck finally dipped entirely below the surface, requiring crews to use chain saws to cut through the ice to help get it freed.
They finally got the front end up near shore, using loaders and chains. But the stubborn truck, with its plow blade still below the ice, hardly budged.
The bumper broke and the blade finally emerged, before its supports partially snapped. Workers finally cut the blade from the truck, repositioned the loader and tried again.
The incident happened almost a year after a similar incident. On Jan. 24, 2008, a plow mounted on a city pickup truck broke through the ice while city workers were clearing the lake. The plow was not damaged and broke through the ice so close to a concrete wall at the edge of the lake that city workers were able to drag it out with a front-end loader.
The city used to own a Zamboni to smooth the ice, but it broke down long ago. Since then, city workers have sometimes used snowblowers to clear the lake in an effort to remove the snow without breaking through the ice.