HAMBURG, N.Y. — Up to 1,500 people are soon expected to run into the frigid waters of Lake Erie for the 13th annual Buffalo Polar Plunge.

It's scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Woodlawn Beach State Park, and crews spent Thursday cleaning up the scene.

With water temperatures expected to be in the 40s, first responders want to make sure there aren't any other hazards to deal with on top of the cold.

"Our job today was to make sure the shoreline, the water itself, was safe," Town of Hamburg Police Captain Jim Koch said. "We pulled out a 20-foot tree today that would have been a tripping hazard, and we could have had some serious injuries if that was in there at the time of the plunge."

Proceeds from Saturday's polar plunge will benefit Special Olympics New York with an estimated total of around $200,000.

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