News Releases

June 10, 2015

Hazardous Conditions Will Exist in North Country Waterways Through This Weekend

In recent days, several heavy rain events caused several streams and rivers in northern Vermont and Essex county New York to swell to abnormally high levels and present inherent dangers. Although water levels will slowly recede into this weekend, water levels and more importantly flows and currents will be too dangerous for many recreational activities. In addition more rainfall chances through this weekend could exacerbate current conditions.

The Vermont Department of Health says nearly 100 drowning deaths have occurred in natural settings like lakes and rivers in Vermont since 1985, including at six popular swimming holes. The most dangerous places have been Huntington Gorge, with 15 deaths and Cobb Brook in Jamaica where 12 people have reportedly drowned. Also of concern are the Bolton Potholes, Dog's Head Falls in Johnson and the New Haven River in Bristol.

The National Weather Service as well as Public Safety officials in Vermont and New York want to remind residents and tourists of the potential DANGERS that still remain in recreational waterways.

1) Natural swimming holes will continue to exhibit high flows and DANGEROUS currents through the weekend. These recreational spots should be closely monitored or avoided all together.

2) If interested in venturing onto area rivers (swimming, fishing, kayaking, rafting or canoeing ...) higher than normal flows and fast currents will continue for several more days. Please closely monitor conditions and if it looks "threatening or questionable," please AVOID altogether. "When in Doubt ... Don't Go Out."

3) Although not a waterway ... hiking trails, especially in the mountains will be muddy and very treacherous for the next few days. Please exercise caution.

ALWAYS ... Before and during ANY outdoor activity, please monitor the latest forecasts from NWS Burlington or other local weather sources.

CONTACTS:

National Weather Service: http://www.weather.gov/btv/; Scott Whittier, Warning Coordination Meteorologist; 802-658-0150

VT Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security: http://vem.vermont.gov/; Mark Bosma, Public Information Officer; 800-347-0488

VT Health Department: http://healthvermont.gov/; Robert Stirewalt, Public Information Officer; 802-951-1276

Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: June 10, 2015 15:55:22