Avista Warns of Danger On The River - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Avista Warns of Danger On The River

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Water safety Water safety
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Avista Utilities has six dams between Post Falls and Longlake. The dangers of the dams prompted Avista to host its first ever Hydro Safety Media Event Thursday. The purpose is to make sure that people who use the Spokane River know all of the safety measures they should take in order to stay safe.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office attended the event as ROW Adventures out of Coeur d'Alene guided three rafts through the 9 Mile Reservoir, just north of the 9 Mile Dam in the Spokane River. Sheriff's deputies stressed 50-50-50 rule. It means that if a person falls into the water, they have a 50-50 chance of swimming 50 yards, if the water is 50° or colder. The sheriffs office says that most people who fall into the water this time of year don't mean to get wet. They are either fishing or walking along the water when they accidentally fall in. Deputies warn people about strainers, like falling trees or other blockades in the water, which catch people and often submerged them. So far, there have been nine deaths in the state of Washington this year.

Three people died at the Post Falls dam in 1989 which prompted Avista's Hydro-Safety plans. Avista says it has not seen any deaths since. It reminds boaters to be cognizant of all of the warning signs and blockades to keep people from approaching any of it's dams. Avista, the Sheriff's Office and ROW Adventures say that the beautiful Spokane River is worth enjoying, but only if the proper measures are taken to ensure safety.

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