High Water on River Could Make for Dangerous Boating

By: Lauren Schmoll Email
By: Lauren Schmoll Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- All the rain we’ve seen recently is making for some high water and strong currents on the river. That could make it a little precarious if you're heading out on a boat to celebrate the fourth.

The U.S. Coast Guard says this holiday weekend is the most popular of the year for boating. With the river up, though, you're going to want to take some precautions.

Julian and Abigail Pennington have been waiting all summer for a day out on the river with their mom and grandpa. Unfortunately, with the water up, their fun might be dampened just a bit.

“Probably won't get in the water,” grandfather Clint Wilson said. “They won't be able to tube.”

Wilson says they weren't counting on the water being high. It makes his job as driver a little more stressful.

“You got to watch for stuff in the water floating around,” Wilson said.

The Coast Guard says that will be one of the big dangers for folks out on the river this holiday week.

“Here if you look through at the river conditions, you can see that the current is moving pretty swiftly,” LTJG Matthew Merical said. “Faster than it normally would.”

Even putting the boat in the water can be a little more difficult when the river's high.

“Take a look at the ramps, sometimes as the water level rises it becomes a little more difficult to actually launch your boat,” Merical said.

And when you're finished, that high water can also pose a challenge bringing the boat in.

“Little harder to get back on the trailer,” Wilson said.

Julian and Abigail have some advice of their own.

“What should they be careful of?” WSAZ.com's Lauren Schmoll asked the kids.

“Wrecking into another person on a boat,” Julian said. “And logs. And wear your life jacket.”

The Coast Guard says the most important rule just comes down to common sense. If you're not comfortable with what you're doing, just get out of the water.

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