May 13, 2014 12:16 pm

May long weekend rafters need to be cautious on Calgary rivers, warn officials

CALGARY – The Calgary Fire Department is warning Calgarians to use caution if they’re planning to take a leisurely float down the river this coming May long weekend.

Both the Bow and Elbow rivers were significantly changed during June flooding in 2013.

The surge of floodwaters compromised several riverbanks, and caused rivers to become filled with tons of debris.

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“There are many new and unknown hazards in and around the Bow River,” explains Deputy Chief Ken Uzeloc with the Calgary Fire Department. “The city has made great efforts to address these hazards prior to the upcoming rafting season, however, there are many that still remain.”

Concerned with public safety, the Calgary Fire Department issued a river advisory after last year’s flood.

On Tuesday, they re-issued the same advisory, hoping to raise awareness of the hazards that still exist on the rivers.

“Metal and concrete debris, as well as all kinds of items swept up by flood, can be a real danger to a riverrafter,” adds Uzeloc.

In addition, there are several construction and development projects happening along the riverbanks this year that rafters need to be aware of.

Officials say all river users should exercise caution and make themselves aware of water levels, temperature, current, visibility and all hazards in the water that can catch, trap or overturn boats or rafts.

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