River Warnings Despite Low Water Levels
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Water levels may be low on the Colorado River, but officials say that doesn't mean you should avoid taking certain precautions. Before you fill up that tube, there's information you should know.
According to safety officials, there are plenty of hazards associated with these lower levels. As water continues to deplete, more debris becomes visible and hazardous. "Our river, especially from Corn Lake down to Blue Heron, there's been years and years in which that area has been treated as a dump," said Ryan Springer of Mesa County Search and Rescue.
Mesa County Search and Rescue has only needed to respond to one major river event so far this year. However, officials say that this time of year, they see a lot of rescues because residents believe they can walk the river and end up getting trapped.
"They don't realize that even though it's two or three feet deep in some places, that flow is so heavy that they get a foot entrapment, the water pushes them over, they get stuck and drown just like that," said Springer.
"You always need a personal flotation device,” said Springer. “You have to always have a flotation device no matter what the situation is."
Folks participating in river fun should also remember not to swim at boat ramps or by themselves, and to never consumer alcohol. "On the rivers, the substance types like drugs and alcohol are not permitted,” said Springer.
Officials warn residents to especially be careful near the pedestrian bridge by the Botanical Gardens. They say it continues to be a dangerous spot because of the banks and river flow.
In addition, the low water levels are causing slower water flow, and as a result residents are being told to give themselves extra time when floating the river.