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October 24, 2017 October 24, 2017

Not a safe time to be floating down the river

Posted on June 6, 2017 by 40 Mile Commentator

Southeastern Alberta has seen sorrowing temperatures over the last week and with the hotter temperatures comes winter runoff, resulting in water levels reaching a dangerous high.
The South Saskatchewan River’s flow rate was expected to release up to 600 cubic metres per second of water over the weekend, providing treacherous conditions that are too much for a pleasurable rafting trip. May and June are too early in the season to be out trying to challenge the rapids. July or even August would be more bearable on the river when the runoff is done.
?Road views do not do justice of how rapidly the river is flowing. There are a lot of people out there who do not think twice about taking a dip in the river. It could prove to be a regrettable excursion because one wrong move could prove costly.
?It is always appealing to hang out and float on the river, but it is a body of water that is unforgivable, even if it looks calm. Beneath the surface may be a strong undertow.
?Unfortunately, there seems to be not enough education around the riverbanks because people still choose at the height of an unsafe situation to test the aggressive waters. People need to be told and warned to be water smart and consider the condition of their surroundings.
Being too early to be even trying to enjoy the water anywhere because the winter runoff is still coming. It is making the water murky and a temperature that is not comfortable for any normal human.
It is not safe and with the encounters in recent weeks, lets hope it serves as a reminder that rivers are dangerous at the best of times and people should have common sense when approaching the rapids. Enjoy the heat, but be smart with where you cool off.

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