Boaters flip on rising Yampa River
May 22, 2005
Steamboat Springs — A woman was treated for hypothermia Saturday after the canoe she was riding in flipped on the Yampa River east of Hayden.
At about 3 p.m., a canoe carrying four peo–ple apparently flipped after getting caught in an eddy, said Drew Weber a deputy with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office.
All four people were able to swim to the shore. Officials with the West Routt Fire Department treated two people for hypothermia.
One woman was transported to the hospital because her body temperature would not rise, said Weber, who did not know how long the boaters had been in the water.
He said the four adults were from Hayden, but he did not know their names.
Although there were life vests in the boat, it is unclear whether the people were wearing the vests at the time of the accident.
Rising temperatures and rapid snowmelt prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning Saturday for the Elk River east of Milner.
By early Sunday, the river reached the 7-foot flood stage and flooding was apparent in meadows near the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and Routt County Road 44.
The Weather Service warns residents along the Elk River and its tributaries to be aware of rising water and prepare for flooding.
The Weather Service expects water levels to remain high as warm temperatures continue through midweek. The highest water levels are expected between 6 a.m. and midnight, and the lowest levels should be in the early evening.
Above-normal water levels also are expected on the Yampa River, although it is not expected to flood at this time.
With the water moving very fast and very cold, Weber advised all boaters to wear life vests.
“My personal advice is, if you don’t have experience on the river, don’t go out now,” he said.
For updated flood warnings, go to http://www.nws.noaa.gov/alerts/co.html.
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