High river levels encourage kayakers

Staying safe in high waters

KIMT News 3 – There have been a number of incidents recently of adults and kids getting swept away by high and dangerous river water.

With the rainy days we have seen over the past couple of weeks, the water is especially dangerous right now.

While most people wanted last week’s rain to stop, kayakers like John Shultz say ‘keep it coming.’

It’s made a perfect white-water course

Shultz says these wet and rainy conditions create the perfect rapids on the Charles City whitewater rafting course.

However, in order to ride rapids that are bigger and better, Shultz says you should have to have a little experience under your belt before you dive in.

“Everyone out here is very seasoned and they have what we call a good roll; if you flip upside down, you’re able to lift yourself back over just using your paddle and your body momentum,” he explains.

Kayakers out on days like this are brave, but they’re certainly not careless.

They, of all people understand that when their experience fails, they have to rely on a back-up plan.

“Just about everyone has a ‘throw rope’.” he says, “There’s one sitting just down by the waves where everyone is surfing, so everyone is all about safety first in this kind of a situation.”

Safety is also important to Mason City Fire Department officials like Capt. Jack Odegaard who can’t stress enough that folks should be staying away from fast flowing rivers and streams.

The aggressive water we are seeing is proving to be a challenge for many and that is exactly why the Mason City Fire Department also has ‘throw ropes’ on hand.

These tools aren’t just being used in Iowa; authorities in Minnesota have been on high alert as well for issues that might arise from the flooded waterways.

The Turtle Creek in Austin continues to overflow onto farm land and roadways, however things do seem to be quieting down in other parts of the state.

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