A Cautionary Remark on High Flows

Recent tragedies remind us all that the present high flows in the river demand respect.  Before planning an outing at this time, check the river flows.  At this time (mid June after heavy rain), many places are safe only for experts, or simply unsafe.  Links to Farmington River flows at various spots is available at:  http://frwa.org/river-info/river-flows-forecasts/

At any time, what a particular flow level means for YOUR safety depends on many factors.   There is no flow level at which river recreation is guaranteed safe for everyone.  In addition to flow, consider local conditions (such as downed trees, rocks, steep banks, etc.), weather, and your own level of experience and fitness before going in the river.  Use the right equipment, such as life jackets and helmets.  Comments on the flow level’s degree of hazard may be found at http://www.mainstreamcanoe.com/thisRiver.asp?LocationID=2 or (for Tariffville) http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/443

An online safety course for paddlers is available at:  http://www.boaterexam.com/paddling/default.aspx


One thought on “A Cautionary Remark on High Flows

  1. After monitoring for years, I feel the flow rate extremes that come from the west branch dams are unwarranted. Too often the flows are too low and too much water is held in reserve. Then, when holdback is necessary due heavy rains, the reservoirs reach capacity, and damaging and dangerous releases follow, per my letter to Barkhamsted First Selectman. Once again we aided in the rescue of a capsized kayaker yesterday. I feel investigation is necessary into whoever controls and authorizes releases, and more importantly the non-releases.