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Swollen rivers are dangerous and deep for spring kayakers across Iowa

Recent heavy rains make some central Iowa rivers unsafe for canoes and kayaks. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has warned people heading into the rivers. “Everyone wants to go out. They’ve been locked up all winter,” said MNR security expert Todd Robertson. Robertson said the unusually warm spring weather is attracting enthusiastic canoeists and kayakers – many of whom are inexperienced. It issues several warnings. First, many rivers are deeper than normal. They move faster than normal, and they’re cold. “You’re going to say, ‘Wow, that water is still really cold,’ and it is. He just hasn’t had time to warm up yet,” Robertson said. He said one of the most dangerous areas is called a colander. It is a natural area where the strong current accumulates and retains logs and other debris. The current can also send watercraft into this debris, capsize boats and push boaters underwater. “People can be sucked in very easily. These can be killers. So our main advice is to wear your life jacket, but avoid those woodpiles on the river,” Robertson said. You can go to the DNR website in the “Things to do” tab. Here you can find information about riverboat safety and see which rivers are closed due to bridge construction. More from Todd Magel:

Recent heavy rains make some central Iowa rivers unsafe for canoes and kayaks. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has warned people heading for the rivers.

“Everyone wants to go out. They’ve been locked up all winter,” said MNR security expert Todd Robertson.

Robertson said the unusually warm spring weather was bringing out enthusiastic canoeists and kayakers – many of whom he says are inexperienced.

It issues several warnings.

First, many rivers are deeper than normal. They move faster than normal and they are cold.

“You’re going to say, ‘Wow, that water is still really cold,’ and it is. It just hasn’t had time to heat up yet,” Robertson said.

He said one of the most dangerous areas is called a colander. It is a natural area where the strong current collects and traps logs and other debris.

The current can also send watercraft into this debris, capsize boats and push boaters underwater.

“People can be sucked in very easily. These can be killers. So our main advice is to wear your life jacket, but avoid those woodpiles on the river,” Robertson said.

You can go to the DNR website in the “Things to do” tab. Here you can find information about riverboat safety and see which rivers are closed due to bridge construction.

More from Todd Magel:


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