Is It Safe To Get In The River? - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Is It Safe To Get In The River?

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With the changing weather and water conditions, the Mississippi river can be an unpredictable place. It causes many entering the water to question, how can boaters tell when the water is safe to enter?

"as a young child I had two of my best friends drown and they were excellent swimmers," said Megan White.

The warm weather faithfully brings boaters and swimmers like Megan White  to the Mississippi river every year. White says not knowing if the water conditions are safe  makes her hesitant of getting in.

"It's devastating to hear every other day  that people are drowning when it can be avoided," said White. "I think posting signs or having an official out here or letting them know, 'hey its not a good time to swim. My family and I come out here a lot and maybe its not a good day to come out, but we don't know that."

Iowa DNR officer Ed Kocal says it's up to those entering water to do their own homework.

"As a boater or swimmer you need to take heed of the conditions out there," said Kocal.  "Of course we can't predict the weather. Conditions can change in a day as you may know."

Kocal says the DNR doesn't have the resources to place river safety signs along the river because there are hundreds of entry points.  He says even if the agency agreed to signage, he doesn't think it would make much of a difference.

"I think some people no matter what they aren't going to pay attention to the media or warnings," said Kocal.  

Instead Kocal offers a few tell-tale signs to keep in mind when water conditions aren't safe.

"If you look at the water and look at the fact that its high, look at the fact that there's current. If you compound that with windy conditions, those factors combined, you need to consider," said Kocal.  

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