Warning issued about dangerous river conditions

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – As the spring recreation season ramps up, first responders are warning the public about dangerous river conditions.

The weather is getting warmer, and snowmelt is filling the Rogue River and other local waterways. This makes for colder-than-average water conditions and increased flow rates.

“The water temperature in the Rogue River is currently in the low 50s, which is significantly colder than average for this time of year,” said Wayne Nelson, Battalion Chief with Grants Pass Fire Rescue. “This cold water can cause hypothermia, even with experienced swimmers.”

The city of Grants Pass said high water can also increase the risk of swimmers and boaters getting trapped by submerged objects like trees or logs.

The following safety precautions are recommended when you go out on the water:

  • Wear a life jacket.
  • Check the river conditions before you go.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Don’t swim or boat alone.
  • Be prepared to get out of the water quickly if necessary.
  • Always let others know your river plan, including time in and place and expected time out of location.

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