St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging boaters, paddlers and swimmers to think twice before heading out on rivers and lakes after recent rainfall across the state.
DNR officials ask people to be cautious around high water; wear a life jacket and be aware of local flooding conditions and alerts. People also should not venture into flooded areas.
"Rivers, lakes and streams around Minnesota are extremely swollen and that water is cooler than normal," said Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist.
Water temperatures around the Twin Cities metro are hovering around 70 degrees, which is 5-10 degrees colder than normal.
DNR officials say boaters should also be aware of debris in the water, including natural and man-made objects that have been swept into the river.
"Debris will often float just at or below the surface," Owens said. "Hitting a log at high speed could result in damage to boats or serious injuries."
According to DNR records, so far this year, three people have died in boating accidents compared to five this time last year.
A no-wake zone is in effect on rivers and lakes around the Twin Cities metro, including the St. Croix River from Taylors Falls to Prescott, Prior Lake and Lake Minnetonka.
The Minneapolis locks on the Mississippi River are closed to both recreational and commercial traffic.