Paddlers urged to stay off rain swollen rivers

QUAD CITY AREA, Illinois and Iowa - Tornadoes and flash floods aren't the only hazardous conditions after big rainfall. Swollen rivers and lakes are also dangerous.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has received reports of inexperienced paddlers on the Des Moines River who tipped over their boats in the strong current.

This comes in the wake of footage showing Hampton kayakers paddling down the street during flooding yesterday.

“We encourage all paddlers, especially new and inexperienced paddlers, to stay on lakes and flat-water while the rivers are high due to heavy rain”, Todd Robertson, paddling instructor Rivers Programs at the Iowa DNR, said.

“If you get into a situation where you are struggling and fighting the current, the river will win”, Robertson said.

This warning also serves as a general statement for river activities in general. On Monday, June 18, a canoe carrying four passengers went over the "Steel Dam" in Milan, causing the canoe to flip over. One of the passengers, a five-year-old girl, has not be found. 

Iowa DNR urges all river goers to always know your river conditions before you go paddling.  For the latest river conditions, visit the USGS site at or contact your local county conservation board for updates.