High waters at Elk river could endanger those on kayaks or rafts

How to stay safe if kayaking or rafting
High waters at Elk river could endanger those on kayaks or rafts

Floating down Elk river is a summer activity that many are used to participating in.

With the recent flooding, water levels are high, but it seems to be receding down to normal, according to McDonald County Sheriff Michael Hall.

“It’s still high, Elk river starting at the upper part is starting to clear up a little as of today but the lower parts below Indian creek, Indian creek is still very dirty and muddy and still flowing in fairly heavy.”

With anticipation for large crowds for Memorial Day weekend, Sheriff Hall says they are preparing for any emergencies.

“Preparing for having to do some rescues and stuff because of the water flow as high as it still is, snags, you know piles of trees and stuff like that. It’s what we see when we have this type of flooding and then it starts going down and people are trying to float it before it gets nicer and calmer.”

Despite the water receding there are still dangers to be aware of while floating in the river.

“I think we pulled out four refrigerators out of the river, you know that stuff could still be in there or floating down now, floating debris is always a hazard too.”

Shady Beach co-owner Carson Adamson says they are putting their own precautions in place as well.

“One thing we will not do Saturday, or we for see not doing is we won’t be floating the canoes, we’ll either do kayaks or rafts because of safety.”

Both Hall and Adamson say that floating on the river during a weekend where there is high water is not for first timers.

“If you’re worried about it we give life jackets, I would wear one, if you’ve never been floating before tomorrow is probably not your day to learn”, says Adamson.

Sheriff Hall would prefer people avoid the river all together.
“Unless you’re experienced, I’d rather people just stay off the water this weekend it’s just it’s not worth it.”

Some things to be aware of when in the river are:
— Floating debris
— Trees or branches that could snag
— Rocks
— Pay attention to the flow of the river
— Always wear a life jacket
— Keep a phone with you in a waterproof pouch or case