Commission urges delaying trips on St. Croix River because of high water

Posted July 08, 2014, at 6:10 p.m.
Last modified July 08, 2014, at 6:32 p.m.

CALAIS, Maine — Visitors to the St. Croix River region planning recreational activities on the river should consider delaying their trip because of high water, the St. Croix International Waterway Commission urged Tuesday.

Rainfall from Tropical Storm Arthur last weekend is still making its way into the St. Croix River system. As a result, the water is flowing at a higher rate than normal for this time of year, the commission said in a news release.

Water is flowing out of the Vanceboro dam at over 3,000 cubic feet per second; rates increase as tributaries join the river. Normal rates are usually between 700 and 900 cubic feet per second at this time of year.

In addition, high winds from the weekend storm damaged and brought down a number of trees on access roads, campsites and into the river itself.

“Please seriously reconsider any trip on the St. Croix until water flows go down,” Abby Pond, executive director of the commission, said. “Even if you have paddled the river before, it changes completely at high flows such as we are experiencing now. There are trees and debris in the river, and normally calm shoreline areas are washed out and fast-flowing.”

Paddlers entering the river in current conditions jeopardize themselves and others who may be summoned to come to their aid, she added. “Your choice to go down the river on a sunny day at flows like this does not only put you at danger, it puts all the people who might have to come rescue you at danger, too,” Pond said.

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