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Ice out on Otter Tail County lake shows Mother Nature's power and beauty

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RUSH LAKE, Minn. — Nobody will be happier to see a switch in wind speed and direction than those living in lakes country.

For two days, winds out of the south have pushed melting, fragmented ice up against north side beaches, damaging many of them.

Marlys Simpson and her family have lived on the north side of Rush Lake for 40 years. They've witnessed ice out before, but not like this one.

"Shocked," said Simpson. "When I got up and saw it, I thought 'well, maybe something will happen,' and then as it progressed, then I thought, 'uh oh.'"

It all started Sunday. Wind gusts came from the south at 40 mph. Soon, huge chunks of ice started piling up on shore. You could hear the tension.

"It isn't coming that fast, you can stand there and hear it. It is a little music," Simpson said.

A WDAY-TV drone got a bird's eye view of the mountains of ice that line the north side beaches of Rush, and with the lake just opening up, more is likely to come ashore.

People here in lakes country have their work cut out for them this spring, taking care of all the fabric, sand and rocks now on shore.

"That's thick ice coming in, I have never seen it that thick," says Ron Bjelland, neighbor.

Once Ron saw the path, he started moving docks and lifts for the neighbor.

"I just hope the wind goes to the northwest and stays there," Bjelland said.

But Simpson is the optimist. She finds a little joy in the spring ritual.

"Very pretty," she said. "It's our blessing."

Just a few days ago, she was in sunny California.

"Any day, we love it here," she says.