OZAUKEE COUNTY -- The rainfall in our area was much needed after a dry March and April. But after having high fire risks across much of the state, some areas have more danger now on the water.
In Ozaukee County, three men were rescued after their boats capsized on the Milwaukee River. The rains lead to higher river levels, making for dangerous conditions.
Stay off the river! That’s the message from the Grafton Fire Department after the recent rains. You can see how quick it is this morning. But the good news is, levels should be going down. pic.twitter.com/w3vKEU3NXm
— Shaun Gallagher (@ShaunGalNews) May 15, 2018
"For a number of days after a large rainfall, we can see a pretty big increase in river levels," Scott Ziegler, Director of Emergency Management at the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Department said. "It can make it a lot more treacherous if you're inexperienced or ill-equipped."
The rest of the week should be relatively quiet but it doesn't mean the river will be too. The Grafton Fire Department suggests staying off the river until levels go down.
"You can tell if it's a lazy flowing river or if it's swollen from rainfalls," Ziegler said. "You'll see rapids conditions in areas you wouldn't normally see them."
Ziegler says wearing a life jacket is of the utmost importance. However, in a wild river, it may not be the only thing you need to keep you safe.
"Try to orient yourself so your feet first with the flow so you can see where you're going," Ziegler said. "If you're coming up to any rocks or obstructions, you can push yourself off that a little bit."
Ozaukee County Emergency Management posts links to current river conditions on their website, so you can be safe before getting out on the water.