DEEP issues warning about unsafe water conditions - WFSB 3 Connecticut

DEEP issues warning about unsafe water conditions

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is cautioning people about possible unsafe water conditions throughout the state because of recent heavy rains.

Many of Connecticut's rivers and streams are experiencing higher than normal water levels, and faster than normal currents.

"This weekend's weather forecast is for beautiful weather, and we encourage everyone to get out and safely enjoy Connecticut's outdoors," said DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen in a statement Thursday.

Residents and visitors should be cautious around waterways. Some waterways may have dramatically changed because of the high water, strong currents and moved debris.

"The state has experienced heavy rains in recent days, which means that our rivers and streams are high and running fast, so everyone near water needs to be extra careful," Whalen said.

Farmington River Tubing told Eyewitness News That's why they're still closed.

Satan's Kingdom State Recreation Area has only been open for three days this season because the water is just way too high right now for anyone to be out there safely.

The warnings come after two separate incidents in which two people are still missing after being out on the Farmington River.

Last Sunday, 33-year-old Rachel Greene was on a raft with friends around 2:30 a.m., when their raft went under.

Nasir Alam, 25, of East Hartford, went missing in the Farmington River  on Tuesday afternoon while tubing with a group of people. His family told Eyewitness News he didn't know how to swim.

Officials were able to pull six of the seven from the water safely. However, Alam was not found.

Greene and Alam are still missing.

As for those two active investigation's involving those two missing people. DEEP officials said they are still doing routine patrols with officers driving by and checking the river, but there is no active search.

"It's moving quick,'" said Taylor Quick of Bristol. "A fun ride, but you can see everyone's concern."

The rapids of the Farmington River are rough, it can be downright dangerous.

"I woke up this morning and my mother said 'Taylor, you are not going down that river," Quick said.

But that's exactly what Quick and his two buddies did.

"The river is pretty big right now, the banks are swollen and the river is definitely moving fast," said Garrett Wolf of Canton. "A lot of rocks are covered by water. I can see how you can get lost."

DEEP officials offered the following tips when going out on the river:

  • Avoid consuming alcohol while engaging in water-related outdoor activities.
  • Know how to swim if entering the water.
  • Always wear a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times
  • Know the condition of the water and know your abilities - if there is any doubt about the water conditions - do not go.
  • Wear water shoes - especially if the body of water is known to be rocky.
  • Never raft alone and always let someone know where you are going and where and when you plan to return.
  • Check the weather forecast for your area and for areas upstream before departing for your trip.

For more tips, visit the DEEP website here.

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