Safety concerns rise with lower water levels - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Safety concerns rise with lower water levels

JACKSONPORT, AR (KAIT) – Lower water levels have led to a higher concern for boaters and their safety.

People have struggled recently to access the White River at Jacksonport State Park.

The channel leading from its boat ramp to the river has dropped significantly since May.

Donna Bentley, the state park interpreter, says bigger boats can barely fit through the narrowing passageway, but once on the water, boaters can face other dangers.

"With all our flooding that happened, particularly the last two years," Bentley said, "there are trees and stumps that have settled to the bottom of the river, and those show. Sometimes they're just below the surface with this low water, so even in the channels, you definitely need to be going slow. Just don't go full throttle."

Bentley says people should check the river gauge online before they bring out their boats.

NOAA, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, provides that information on its Web site here.

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