Photo by Al Camp
A dike on 2nd Avenue North behind D&D Auto Body Shop holds back the Okanogan River.
As of Tuesday, May 15, 2018
OKANOGAN Today, May 15, Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers closed the Okanogan River to all recreational activities.
No boating, swimming or other water-based activity is permitted on the river until further notice, Rogers said.
The sheriff's office advises county citizens to steer clear of the river's high flows, bone chilling temperature and resident debris, such as trees and brush being carried downstream.
These dangers may cause injury or death.
Those in the river may contract hypothermia, and being swept away by the current can become life threatening immediately, the sheriff's office warned.
Volunteers protecting homes with sandbags should wear a personal flotation device "as even being behind a levee or dike can be dangerous should they fail," Rogers said.
The sheriff's office decided to close the river to keep residents safe and minimize hazards to first responders, according to an alert.
"Make the right choice, stay safe, heed this closure order and stay away from the Okanogan River," a safety alert reads.
For more information, contact the Okanogan County Emergency Operations Center at 509-422-7348.