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Weather Service warns of unusually swift and cold rivers

Feather Publishing
5/28/2010.
 
.. AREA RIVERS AND STREAMS RUNNING FAST AND COLD...

 AS THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND APPROACHES... WE WOULD LIKE TO ONCE AGAIN REMIND PEOPLE ABOUT THE HIDDEN DANGERS OF THE SPRING SNOW MELT SEASON. TEMPERATURES THIS WEEKEND WILL WARM INTO THE LOWER TO MID 80S IN THE VALLEY... WHICH IS NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR BUT WARMER THAN MOST WEEKENDS SO FAR THIS YEAR.

 THE COMBINATION OF WARMER TEMPERATURES AND A HOLIDAY WEEKEND WILL ENTICE MANY PEOPLE OUTSIDE TO WATER ACTIVITIES. RECREATIONALISTS ON AREA RIVERS... STREAMS... AND RESERVOIRS SHOULD TAKE GREAT CARE IN AND NEAR THE WATER AT ALL TIMES. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT DURING THE SPRING SNOW MELT SEASON WHEN WATER TEMPERATURES ARE VERY COLD AND THE FLOW CAN BE FAST AND DEEP.

DURING THE LATTER PART OF OUR SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER... THE WATER IN OUR AREA RIVERS... STREAMS... AND RESERVOIRS IS BEING FED DIRECTLY FROM THE MELTING SNOW PACK. THE RECENT COOL WEATHER HAS SLOWED THIS MELTING OF THE MOUNTAIN SNOW PACK. PEAK FLOWS FROM THE SPRING SNOW MELT ARE NOT EXPECTED UNTIL MID JUNE... WITH MOUNTAIN RIVER AND STREAM LEVELS CONTINUING TO RISE OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS. HOWEVER... OUR RIVERS AND STREAMS ARE STILL RUNNING HIGH... MEANING THAT THEY ARE RUNNING VERY FAST... WITH UNFORESEEN SWIFT MOVING CURRENTS AND COLD WATER.

WATER TEMPERATURES THIS WEEKEND AND FOR MUCH OF JUNE WILL BE IN THE LOW 50S IN LOWER ELEVATION RIVERS... STREAMS... AND RESERVOIRS. COLDER WATER TEMPERATURES WILL PERSIST IN THE FOOTHILLS AND MOUNTAINS... RANGING IN THE MID TO UPPER 40S.

ANYONE CAUGHT IN THESE COLD AND SWIFT MOVING WATERS UNPREPARED CAN QUICKLY EXPERIENCE HYPOTHERMIA. HYPOTHERMIA IS A SUDDEN LOSS OF BODY TEMPERATURE THAT CAN BE FATAL. WARNING SIGNS FOR HYPOTHERMIA INCLUDE UNCONTROLLED SHIVERING... MEMORY LOSS... DISORIENTATION... INCOHERENCE... SLURRED SPEECH... DROWSINESS... AND APPARENT EXHAUSTION. HYPOTHERMIA IS AN UNSEEN DANGER THAT CAN STRIKE QUICKLY. MONITOR CHILDREN CLOSELY AS HYPOTHERMIA CAN OCCUR FASTER IN CHILDREN THAN IN ADULTS.

PEOPLE RECREATING IN AND NEAR WATERWAYS SHOULD WEAR LIFE PRESERVERS AND CHILDREN TWELVE AND UNDER ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO DO SO. LIFE PRESERVERS SAVE LIVES.

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