C-T: With water levels still high, emergency responders urge folks to stay off the river

Heavy rains — more than 8 inches in many parts of WNC — and continued flood dangers have local emergency personnel urging boaters and others to stay off the river. “‘Just don’t do it,'” the Asheville Citizen-Times says. A kayaker on the Big East Fork of the Pigeon River died last week, paddling with friends during high waters over the holiday.

From the Asheville Citizen-Times

Emergency personnel in the Asheville area have had to undertake six swift-water rescues over the past week, including a mission last week on the raging Big East Fork of the Pigeon River in Haywood County in which a Kentucky man drowned after falling out of his kayak.

The Asheville Fire Department has taken part in five swift-water rescues since July 1, most of them on the French Broad River, firefighter Kelley Klope said. The department also assisted in a rescue on the Pigeon River in Canton on Sunday.

“People just don’t understand the intensity of the water,” Klope said. “You can’t always control where you go.” …

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