Stanislaus County officials warn about unsafe water levels ahead of hot weekend

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

As people flock to the rivers to escape the sweltering heat, Stanislaus County officials are advising people to stay out of the rivers.John McManus with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department said that the “unsafe water levels” are due to water releases to keep reservoirs from overfilling.”Higher water levels create more current and as the water levels rise, trees, undergrowth, all become obstructions that can be detrimental to the safety of people who are enjoying the river,” he said.As rivers run full and cold, they’re reminding people to wear life jackets and avoid getting in too deep.”There are currents. The top of the water can look calm and safe, but once you get in the current underneath the top of the water can be something that surprises you and could cause a situation that would put you in an unsafe situation,” McManus said.Last year in Stanislaus County, eight people died by drowning. This year, three people have already died by drowning.”I’d rather be safe than sorry. I don’t want to lose somebody to drowning – the best swimmers drown, so you just have to be careful,” said Theresa Rodríguez.Rodríguez and her family frequent Woodward Reservoir in Oakdale because it’s close and convenient, but she said they stick close to the shore and make sure that her children are wearing life jackets.A few fire departments have joined forces to provide life jackets to residents wanting to go out into the waterways.You can find locations here.See more coverage of top California stories here | Download our app.

As people flock to the rivers to escape the sweltering heat, Stanislaus County officials are advising people to stay out of the rivers.

John McManus with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department said that the “unsafe water levels” are due to water releases to keep reservoirs from overfilling.

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“Higher water levels create more current and as the water levels rise, trees, undergrowth, all become obstructions that can be detrimental to the safety of people who are enjoying the river,” he said.

As rivers run full and cold, they’re reminding people to wear life jackets and avoid getting in too deep.

“There are currents. The top of the water can look calm and safe, but once you get in the current underneath the top of the water can be something that surprises you and could cause a situation that would put you in an unsafe situation,” McManus said.

Last year in Stanislaus County, eight people died by drowning. This year, three people have already died by drowning.

“I’d rather be safe than sorry. I don’t want to lose somebody to drowning – the best swimmers drown, so you just have to be careful,” said Theresa Rodríguez.

Rodríguez and her family frequent Woodward Reservoir in Oakdale because it’s close and convenient, but she said they stick close to the shore and make sure that her children are wearing life jackets.

A few fire departments have joined forces to provide life jackets to residents wanting to go out into the waterways.

You can find locations here.

See more coverage of top California stories here | Download our app.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.