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Clinton County EMA warns of unsafe stretch of Wapsipinicon River

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 3:48 PM CDT
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CLINTON COUNTY, Iowa (KWQC) - Clinton County Emergency Management Agency and Clinton County Conservation have posted warning signs along a stretch of the Wapsipinicon River after first responders were called out for search and rescue efforts several times in the past year.

Clinton County EMA flew drones over the area and found several downed trees submerged and extending out of the water.

The trees have made the passage dangerous for kayakers, especially for those inexperienced.

The dangerous waters extends about 1.5 miles on the north fork stretch of the Wapsi.

“From the search and rescue calls I have responded to with the drone, some kayakers are not experienced enough for this stretch of river and have little or no training on how to properly handle a kayak in a dangerous situation,” said Dan Howard, EMA operations officer and drone pilot.

Search and rescue missions have taken place in the river west of Hagenson Pond Area off Highway 67 in Clinton County.

Clinton County EMA has safety tips for kayakers venturing out this summer:

  • Have maps of the waterway you will be traveling on
  • Know the location in case you have an emergency, you will not how to direct rescue personnel to your location
  • Always paddle with a friend
  • Let somebody know where you are going
  • Always have a cell phone on hand in a waterproof case to keep it dry
  • Have a dry bag or “ditch kit” handy with survival food, drinking water, a flashlight, a sounding device, a signaling device and a survival blanket

Emergency management officers warn that river conditions can change from day to day, and to always remain alert.

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