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Rivers high, moving fast because of recent rain

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news Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. PAUL -- Rain in the past few weeks, as well as through much of Minnesota on Thursday and more forecast this weekend, is creating dangers for Minnesotans on the water.

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Waters are rising in Minnesota lakes and rivers, and rivers are running fast.

“People should always wear their lifejackets every time they step on a boat and especially during times of high water,” said Kara Owens of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The high water forced the DNR to order a no-wake zone on the St. Croix River from Taylors Falls to Prescott. The Minneapolis locks on the Mississippi River are closed to recreational traffic. A high-water alert has been declared on Lake Minnetonka.

“High water levels mean a fast and strong-moving current, which many boat operators and swimmers are not used to, and that can create dangerous situations,” Owens said.

In the young summer season, six drownings and one fatal boat accident have been reported.

Boaters should be aware that with high water, more debris is in the water, Owens said. “Debris will often float just at or below the surface. Hitting a log at high speed could result in anything from a broken propeller to a ruined lower unit -- or worse, serious injuries to those who wanted to enjoy a day on the water."

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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