High Water & Covid-19 Impact River Safety Memorial Day Weekend

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Memorial Day weekend typically marks the first surge of visitors to the Yuba River, but this year will be different due to COVID-19 and California’s stay-at-home order.

In anticipation of the warm weather predicted for the Memorial Day weekend, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), California State Parks, Nevada County, and a host of additional government agencies and public safety officials who make up the Yuba River Safety Cohort group urge the public to make the responsible choice and stay out of the water this weekend. Not only are shelter-at-home orders still in effect, but this week’s rainfall left the Yuba River flowing swiftly creating unpredictable conditions in addition to colder water.

Nevada County does not have enough public safety personnel to monitor this extremely dangerous situation. Most drownings occur in the spring when rivers are running cold and fast and the weather is warm—the exact conditions we can expect this Memorial Day weekend. These tragedies are completely preventable by staying out of the water during spring runoff. Don’t put yourself—or our public safety personnel and rescue volunteers—at risk.

The public should be aware that the preliminary Stage 2 openings in Nevada County don’t open river access infrastructure, campgrounds, or change the six-foot social distancing guidelines. Also Stage 2 guidelines ask people stay within their home county and only go out with people who live in their household, too. Be advised, trails in the Yuba River canyon are narrow and do not allow for needed social distancing.

Especially during these unprecedented times, personal responsibility impacts more than just one person. Keep safe at the river and reduce community exposure to COVID-19 and unnecessary strain on medical resources and first responders.

About the Yuba River Safety Cohort: Made up of County supervisors and staff, local and regional fire protection districts, law enforcement, state and federal agencies, local NGOs, and community representatives, the Yuba River Safety Cohort has been collaborating for four years in an effort to address public safety issues within the South Yuba River canyon such as access, fire prevention, stewardship, and responsible use.

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  1. Ed Colton says:

    I absolutely do not agree with your comments above. The so called “State” has taken all of our rights away and there should be massive protests against the. If one is concerned or afraid then stay sheltered in place but don’t dictate like the Nazies what we can do. Don’t tell us we can’t go to church but we can keep liquor stores, abortion clinics, smoke shops, and all the other crud open but rivers and churches are closed. And get business leaders to play a major part in decision making, not liberal do nothing government people and politicians . Although I am a member of SYRCL, I am about ready to pull my membership.

  2. Gerald J Dubesa says:

    I do agree with the article. Please respect my space.

  3. Thank you for all the work you do SYRCL to keep us safe. Even without the concerns of Covid, the dangers of a high river this time of year are real, and it is heartbreaking how we lose people every year in these conditions. Stay safe everyone!

  4. marge kaiser says:

    We lose lives every year under these water conditions. Mostly from folks who come from somewhere else and don’t know the dangers. How are you going to let outsiders know how dangerous it is?

  5. Mark Rockwell says:

    I fully support SYRCL’s efforts to warn people about the conditions on the river during this holiday. A loss of life is not unusual during spring run-off, and SYRCL is providing a reminder that safe rather than sorry is the best choice. Public health is a civic responsibility, be it from spring run-off conditions or a life threatening disease. I appreciate being a part of an organization that speaks up to protect its members. Thank you!

  6. Jeff Brown says:

    Can’t blame Mr. Colton for his views. He’s not the only victim of misinformation. Not when everyhing we think, do or say has to be fully politicized, including even health and safety warnings. SYRCL keep doing the job you have been charged to do.

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