Swollen rivers are dangerous, deep for spring kayakers across Iowa

Recent heavy rains are making some central Iowa rivers dangerous for canoes and kayaks. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has a warning for people heading to the rivers.“Everybody wants to get out. They’ve been cooped up all winter long,” said Todd Robertson, DNR safety expert. Robertson said unusually warm spring weather is bringing out eager canoers and kayakers — many who he said are inexperienced.He’s putting out several warnings.First, many rivers are deeper than normal. They’re moving faster than normal, and they are cold.“You’re going to go, ‘Wow, that water is still really cold,’ and it is. It just hasn’t had time to heat up yet,” Robertson said.He said one of most dangerous areas is called a strainer. It’s a natural area where the heavy current collects and traps logs and other debris.The current can also send watercraft into that debris, capsize the boats and push boaters underwater.“People can get sucked into those very easily. Those can be killers. So, our main advice is to please wear your life jacket but avoid those piles of wood out on the river,” Robertson said.You can head to the DNR website to the “Things to do” tab. There, you can find safety information about river craft and see what rivers are closed off due to bridge construction. More from Todd Magel:

Recent heavy rains are making some central Iowa rivers dangerous for canoes and kayaks. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has a warning for people heading to the rivers.

“Everybody wants to get out. They’ve been cooped up all winter long,” said Todd Robertson, DNR safety expert.

Robertson said unusually warm spring weather is bringing out eager canoers and kayakers — many who he said are inexperienced.

He’s putting out several warnings.

First, many rivers are deeper than normal. They’re moving faster than normal, and they are cold.

“You’re going to go, ‘Wow, that water is still really cold,’ and it is. It just hasn’t had time to heat up yet,” Robertson said.

He said one of most dangerous areas is called a strainer. It’s a natural area where the heavy current collects and traps logs and other debris.

The current can also send watercraft into that debris, capsize the boats and push boaters underwater.

“People can get sucked into those very easily. Those can be killers. So, our main advice is to please wear your life jacket but avoid those piles of wood out on the river,” Robertson said.

You can head to the DNR website to the “Things to do” tab. There, you can find safety information about river craft and see what rivers are closed off due to bridge construction.

More from Todd Magel:


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