Amsterdam starts closing canals for skating ice to form

Ice skating on Amsterdam canals
Skaters in Amsterdam take to the canals after a cold snap. Feb. 13, 2012.. (photo: Zack Newmark / NL Times)

Amsterdam water authority Waternet started closing canals to boating traffic on Tuesday, to give the thin layer of ice on the canals opportunity to grow thick enough that skaters can get out onto the canals.

Waternet is also closing locks and switching off pumping station, so that the water flows more slowly and ice can form more easily. 

It is not yet safe to skate on the canals in the Amsterdam city center. "Given the weather forecast, it will be exciting, but we are doing everything we can so that residents and visitors can hopefully skate on the canals", alderman Udo Kock said to AT5.