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Cautions Abound For River Safety

POSTED June 21, 2011 1:56 p.m.
Leaders in Oakdale’s fire and police departments, as well as the irrigation district are cautioning people about recreation activities on the Stanislaus River.

Oakdale Irrigation District General Manager Steve Knell said very high river flows are expected as of July 1 because water must be released from New Melones Reservoir due to the Federal Bureau of Reclamation’s operating permit that states it cannot store water behind the dam after June 30.

Knell said all rivers in the area are already running at high levels – the Stanislaus’ flow is currently at 2,000 CFS and could be more than triple that amount by the Fourth of July weekend. These higher flows will also likely result in more debris in the river because it will pick up weeds, trees, and trash in the flood plain.

“People just don’t recognize at this time of year, with these kinds of flows, these are rivers you just don’t want to swim in,” Knell said at the June 21 OID meeting.

For more information on the Stanislaus River flows, safety concerns, and fire and police action plans, read the June 22 issue of The Oakdale Leader.

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