Missouri boaters advised to be cautious on high water

3 years 4 months 2 weeks ago Monday, June 29 2015 Jun 29, 2015 Monday, June 29, 2015 9:30:00 AM CDT June 29, 2015 in News
By: Megan Kelly, KOMU 8 Reporter

ROCKY MOUNT - The large amount of rain in May and June is leading to rising waters and problems for boaters.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol advises boaters to be extra cautious during times of high water.

Sabrina Kropp, boater and resident of Rocky Mount near the Lake of the Ozarks said the high water isn't too big of a concern for her.

"There's a lot of debris, we just kind of watch out for it," Kropp said. "Mostly just big sticks and mucky stuff on top."

However, Corporal Scott White, Missouri State Highway Patrol's Troop F public information officer, said sometimes the best decision is actually not to go into the water at all.

"With the swollen lakes and streams a lot of times we have debris in the water, which can cause some hazards to the boaters, especially swift moving water. Swift moving water can easily capsize a boat or a personal watercraft," White said.

Swift moving water combined with excess debris from floodwaters creates a dangerous situation for boaters, according to White.

Flooded streams and rivers wash debris into nearby waterways. White said this debris could be sticks, tree limbs, logs or stumps, which can be dangerous for boaters.

"It can cause a lot of damage for the hulls of boats and also the power units and propellers," White said.

In lakes and rivers where water spills over the banks, damage from boat wakes can occur to docks and property.

"We remind boaters that if it's absolutely necessary to be out there that they do operate at idle speed," White said

This warning comes after Governor Nixon declared a state of emergency in June due to the recent flooding and heavy rainfall.

So far only one boat incident has involved flooding in Troop F in 2015.

In 2014, there were 21 boating crashes for Troop F, not necessarily involving flooding, which included 16 injuries and two fatalities, according to Highway Patrol.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has information on current flood levels and tips on how to stay safe before and after a flood occurs.

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