Many Virginia rivers at dangerously high levels
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is advising recreational boaters to use extreme caution this upcoming weekend and into next week as unstable weather systems are leading to flash flooding in many areas.
Over the past several days, many areas of Virginia have received significant amounts of rainfall. Not only is the ground saturated, but the rivers are at treacherously high levels. Navigating rivers in these conditions can be hazardous due to significantly higher than normal water levels and trash and other debris that could be floating on the surface or just below the waterline.
If you are a canoer, kayaker or other recreational boater and chose to launch on any river, we are making the following recommendations:
- We strongly urge you to think before you go. Always check local river conditions.
- Check your local forecast. Pop-up storms can cause flash flooding and water levels can change drastically and quickly.
- Be aware that it is possible that high water will force the temporary closing of some boat ramps.
- Have a good plan and share your plan with someone who knows where you will be and when to expect you to return.
- Finally, make sure you have the proper equipment onboard and that you wear a properly sized and fitted life jacket. Remember that life jackets do save lives!