Low river levels could be dangerous for boaters this holiday wee - KPTV - FOX 12

Low river levels could be dangerous for boaters this holiday weekend

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

With the unofficial start of summer upon us, expect to see some people boating this weekend, even though it may be a little cool outside. Because the snowpack was at record lows this year, there could be some hazardous spots in our local waterways due to low river levels. This is something we haven't seen in more than forty years.

The Multnomah County River patrol will be paying attention this weekend, making sure boaters are getting around safely through the low rivers. Along the Columbia River, water levels are almost six feet below normal for this time of year.

Debris that was covered by water last year is now exposed, which could make traveling on the river this holiday weekend hazardous .

Also this weekend, AMR's river rescue team and lifeguards will be watching people spending time at Glenn Otto Park and the High Rocks. These locations will be staffed everyday starting Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. The team is ready for the crowds looking for a place to cool off in the next couple months.

“We prepare for little kids on holidays especially," Justine Kilsby with AMR's River rescue program said. "We also get a lot more people floating down and when they tie together they can make large tubes and they can hit rocks and cause problems for a lot of people.”

This all comes with a warning: the water temperature is still very cold. Along the Sandy River, the temperature is in the low 50s. It won't warm up until the end of July or beginning of August.

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