Saturday, June 7, 2008
The USGS link on the National Weather site reports BSR river levels southeast of Brookings are now past seven and one-half feet. Flood stage is nine feet, and the projection says the water levels will increase over the next 24 hours.
It may seem counterintuitive to think more water is bad, esp. with a river like the Big Sioux that gets downright dry later in the summer. But when it is near flood stage, like it is now, more debris, strainers, and other potentially dangerous elements are more common.
Plus the water will be really rapid, so a mistake that'd be no big whoop in lower water could be something that ends up getting you wet or worse.
Take caution and hit a lake this weekend, or use extreme caution on any river you might run over the next few days. Better to paddle again later this summer than to toss dice and end up trapped under a newly submerged cottonwood branch.