Iowa DNR: Don’t boat on Mississippi River

boat

After their boat lost power and the current took control, two people were towed from the Mississippi River at Davenport on Tuesday, July 2, 2013.  The boat engine overheated, causing power to go out in  the 18-foot runabout.

“The disabled boat was drifting down river at a rapid pace with no control over where it went in the strong current,” said a statement from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR is advising against all boating on the Mississippi River from Clinton, Iowa all the way to the Missouri Border, until the water level drops several feet.

High water, low water clarity, strong current and debris washed into the water from recent heavy rain have combined to make conditions especially hazardous.

The river level is even higher downstream than at Rock Island, where the river was nearly two-and-a-half feet above flood stage.

Boaters upstream from Clinton were advised to use extreme caution since some marinas had closed their ramps, and sandbars and other locations to tie up were still under water.  They urged caution for boaters on the Cedar and Iowa rivers as well, since they are also experiencing flooding in southeast Iowa.

“Boaters should make plans to go boating on a lake this year until the river comes down to more normal flows and the hazards decrease,” said DNR conservation officer Ed Kocal.

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