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National Park Service issues river safety warning

By Randy Kraft, WFMZ.com Reporter, RKraft@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 11 2013 05:25:45 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 12 2013 04:49:22 AM CDT
Kittatinny Ridge
BUSHKILL, Pa. -

A safety warning has been issued to anyone planning to go boating on the rising Delaware River.

Officials at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area warn that, because of heavy rainfall in the last week, the Delaware River level is currently 9.61 feet at Montague, N.J.

It is predicted to rise to over 10.6 feet by 8 a.m. on Friday, which is four to five vertical feet higher than normal for this time of the year.

Effective immediately, all individuals are required to wear a proper fitting, United States Coast Guard approved personal flotation device "in good and serviceable condition" while on board any vessel on the river within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, ordered superintendent John J. Donahue. 

Donahue's  order will remain in effect until the river level recedes below 8 feet.

 It is highly recommended that only very experienced boaters using proper equipment consider a river trip during this period of high water, said park officials.

At higher levels, they warn, river conditions include large quantities of floating debris, very swift currents, decreased water temperature and increased hydraulic hazards in rapids and near bridge pilings, as well as increased hazards associated with downed trees and submerged obstacles near the shoreline.