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PG&E urges safety during increased flows on Rock Creek Reach of North Fork Feather River

Pacific Gas and Electric Company urges the public to take extra safety precautions as water flows will be higher through the weekend of Sept. 28 and 29 for whitewater recreation in the Rock Creek Reach of the North Fork Feather River in Plumas County.

This portion of the river contains Class III, IV and V rapids, which are only appropriate for skilled paddlers, and not appropriate for tubing.

The Rock Creek Reach is the 8.3-mile portion of the North Fork of the Feather River in the Plumas National Forest between PG&E’s Rock Creek dam and the Rock Creek powerhouse near Storrie.

Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, PG&E will increase flows to 900 cubic feet per second (cfs) and hold them there until Sunday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. Afterward, flows will gradually decrease to the season normal of approximately 450 cfs.

The recreational flows are conducted in cooperation with the American Whitewater organization and the Rock Creek-Cresta Ecological Resource Committee and are usually held four weekends a year, in June, July, August and September.

PG&E offers the following water safety tips:

– Stay out of cold water. Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning.

– When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.

– Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface. Swift water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are strongly recommended.

– Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides, sub-surface obstacles, fast moving water, and transitions to full tunnels and pipes.

For more water safety tips visit www.pge.com/hydrosafety.

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