Leftover debris from flood waters causing issues for boaters

By  | 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Four people were pulled from the Upper Iowa River on Wednesday, according to the Winneshiek County Emergency Management Agency.

Grandparents and two of their grandchildren got their boat stuck on a tree, according to responders. The rescue took around 20 minutes and no one was injured.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is now urging boaters to be careful as we approach a busy weekend.

Flood waters are starting to recede meaning leftover tree branches and trees carried away by the flooding are being exposed.

“Rivers like the Mississippi are still getting back to normal,” Ben Patience, a salesman at Coralville Lake Marina, said. “It’s important to know the waters you are boating.”

Patience has been boating for much of his life. He said the part of the Iowa River north of Iowa City is safe to boat, but the DNR said there are a number of obstacles people still need to avoid.

“There may be branches or trees or other debris in the river that have never been there before,” Conservation Officer Ron Lane said.

The DNR does keep track of blockages along water trails. You can follow the link on the side of the page to see the blockages that have been reported.

“They want people to know when there are major obstacles,” Lane said. “You might have to be cautious or portage around.”

Lane said some of those obstacles are not easily removed. Many of which will likely have to be cut during the winter.

Patience said people just need to keep their eyes open.

“it’s part of boating, especially during flooding, but nothing that’s unavoidable,” Patience said. “You should always be vigilant and be keeping your eyes up. That’s normal boating.”