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Scores Rescued From St. Croix National Scenic River Due To High Water From Rains

NPS Digest, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
August 2011

Image St. Croix Tribal Police Neoteric rescue hovercraft Rangers prepare for night search operations in the St. Croix Tribal Police Neoteric hovercraft. NPS photo.

During the first week of August, numerous heavy rainstorms traversed the park and surrounding area, causing the river to rise six feet. The combination of high water and debris from last month’s windstorm made for difficult navigation and people venturing beyond their abilities.

During the period, there were17 different searches for a total of 98 very tired and wet canoeists. The local sheriff departments and the St. Croix Tribal Police, with their hovercraft, assisted rangers in responding to these incidents.

Six canoes were damaged beyond repair and several canoes are still missing along with the canoeists’ personal gear. The high water readings match those of typical spring snowmelt levels on the St. Croix, with the difference being that the summertime temperatures are enticing people into the water.

 
 
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