Officials Warning River Goers About Dangers Along the Banks

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PLACER COUNTY -- Rangers who oversee the Auburn Recreation area are warning people who may visit area rivers and streams to beware of dangers along the banks.

Many people are coming to look at the highest water levels in four or five years thanks to the recent El Nino storms. But the banks are now steeper and often slippery.

"The banks change year-to-year, day-to-day on the river, so where it was good footing once might be a crumbly bank," said Sierra Outdoor Center employee and kyak instructor Howard Gernert.

While similar warnings have been issued along rivers in the valley, the current can be many times more swift in Foothill and Sierra waterways where white water rapids are appearing with the heavy rain runoffs.

An additional warning is being given for dog owners who should have their dogs on a leash. A man drowned in El Dorado County over the weekend after his dog was swept away in heavy current.

Gernert says dogs often can't process how fast the current gets.

Regulars like Tiffany Sandow keep and eye on their dogs and keep them on a leash, which is required in the Auburn Recreation Area.

"I don’t want to have to go in after him that’s for sure," said Sandow.

The concern is that the warm weather this weekend will bring out first time visitors or those who aren't familiar with how high and fast the water is at the popular confluence of the middle and south forks of the American River.


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