High Water Levels, Strong Currents Make Local Waterways Treacherous

Updated: 06/07/2014 11:25 AM
Created: 06/07/2014 9:31 AM
By: Heidi Enninga

With more rain coming down Saturday and restrictions already in place-authorities can't stress it enough: this weekend isn't the weekend for a leisurely boating trip on Minnesota waters.

High water levels are posing a serious threat, and the message is clear for canoers and kayakers- the water is simply too dangerous and not worth the risk.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources made it very clear, saying "If you are not in a boat with a motor, then you don't need to be in our local rivers."

Steve Buan of the National Weather Service said debris is a main threat with high water levels.

"When you get flooded lakes or rivers, they have a lot of debris in them, typically because they pick things up from from the shoreline area and brings them into the river channel or lakes," Buan said. "You could have logs floating, and you really don't want to be out there."

Another major concern is the speed of the water and the strong undercurrent that can pull people down in the rivers. 

A student from Andover High School jumped in the St. Croix to help after one of his peer's canoes capsized on a class trip. He said the scariest part was just how deceptive the river looked.

"When I jumped in, I started going downstream, the opposite from them," Jordan Kraabel said. They were in front of me, and I couldn't catch up to to them. That's when I had to start getting to shore and I couldn't help them. The rapids were going too fast.

Officials said that rivers like the Mississippi and St. Croix are running three times faster than average for this time of the year and that boaters should be patient while we wait for water levels to drop, hopefully sometime around July 4.

A series of warnings for boaters on Minnesota waterways have already been issued.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

77° | 60°
  • Feels like: 55° F
  • Wind: SE 7mph
  • Humidity: 57%