LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – A 13.1 feet flood stage is causing a no-wake-zone for boaters on the developed shorelines of the Mississippi River during Memorial Day Weekend.
The river water off of the West Clinton Street Boat Landing is still dangerously high which can cause debris to float into the river.
“Dams in the spillways have a lot of water going over them creating a lot stronger of a current than usual,” La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jordan Stratman said. “It’s just a good idea to stay away because everything is coming over quicker than it usually does.”
La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office are patrolling the flooded river over the holiday weekend to keep boaters safe.
The La Crosse Fire Department is also available to help in an emergency. “The river itself can change drastically with the rising river stage and it does not discriminate,” La Crosse Fire Department Captain Tom Griffith said. “People sometimes kind of lose respect of that. Water is not forgiving.”
Experienced boaters know that wearing a personal flotation device is imperative. “[It’s] Really important,” Fisherman Hayden Erickson said. “If you’re going really fast and you accidentally hit a wing dam and maybe get a hole in your boat and you start sinking, the Mississippi will carry you under real fast.”
If the need arises, call 911 immediately and the La Crosse Fire Department or Sheriff’s Office will be on their way.
The La Crosse Sheriff’s Office will now be out patrolling the river every weekend until Labor Day.
According to the National Weather Service, the Mississippi River is set to crest at 13.3 feet on Sunday, May 26 and then start to recede.