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Authorities warn public of dangerous conditions in local rivers

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The City of Grants Pass is warning the public about dangerous conditions in the Rogue, Applegate and Illinois rivers, ranging from colder temperatures, high tides and an increased risk for obstacles that can trap swimmers. 

“The water temperature in the Rogue River is currently in the low 50s, which is significantly colder than average for this time of year,” Wayne Nelson, battalion chief with Grants Pass Fire Rescue, said in a news release. “This cold water can cause hypothermia, even with experienced swimmers. In addition, the river CFS is currently above 4550, which is considered high water. This high water can make it difficult to control a boat or raft and can also increase the risk of strainers.”

Strainers are obstacles that can trap swimmers and boaters, the release said, such as trees, logs or bridge pilings. 

To stay safe, the city advised that residents wear a life jacket, check river conditions before they go, be aware of their surroundings and to never swim or boat alone. 

"Be prepared to get out of the water quickly if necessary. Always let others know your river plan, including time in and place and expected time out and location," the release said. "By following these safety precautions, you can help to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable springtime on the river." 

Izzie Lund is the digital content manager at NewsWatch 12. You can reach Izzie at

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