High water safety

CERRO GORDO COUNTY, Iowa –  Carl Ginapp from Rock Falls is a father who loves spending his summers tubing the Shell Rock River with his family when he can.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s just good clean recreation.  This year, as you can see the water is extremely high.  My tubes still haven’t been inflated or haven’t been taken out of the box yet this year,” said Ginapp.

And fortunately for Ginapp, he knows how dangerous going out tubing on this river could be right now.

“When a tree falls down into the water, the water actually makes a strainer. When the water goes under the tree, if you go underneath it, go into the tree, it will suck you down and hold you down and drown you,” said Ginapp.

“When it comes to the rivers being as high as they are, the things that we’re concerned about is just the force of that water, and that force it creates when it hits things like dead falls or objects under the water,” said Matt Washburn with the Iowa DNR.

Washburn knows all to well how dangerous the rivers can be.  He was recently involved in the rescue of a 79 year old man who had been tubing in the Shell Rock River when the waters were high.  That man later died.  Washburn says while they can’t keep you from taking a risk, those at the DNR can advise that you listen to their warnings.

“That’s a judgment call that folks are going to have to make for themselves. We can’t say yay or nay.”

In the past two weeks, our meteorologists say much of our area has received more than seven inches of rainfall. Usually we only see about five inches in the month of June.

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