Sheriff orders closure of river to recreation activities

Sheriff Frank Rogers
Sheriff Frank Rogers

OKANOGAN –  The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office warns citizens of the extreme danger the Okanogan River poses due to the extremely high flow and ongoing flooding issues. By order of the Sheriff of Okanogan County – the Okanogan River is now closed to recreational activities. No boating, swimming or any other activity is allowed on the river until further notice.

The river poses extreme danger due to high flows, cold temperatures, and debris such as logs and brush being carried downstream. These dangers can cause injury or death. Hypothermia caused by the runoff can affect those in the river and those who may be accidently swept away by the current can become life-threatening immediately.

Please maintain a safe distance from the river. If you are placing sandbags or doing other measures to protect property please wear a PFD (personal floatation device) as even being behind a levy or dike can be dangerous should they fail and water threaten your safety you could be swept away.

Right now, the river is predicted to rise with these warm temperatures. By this closure the Sheriff’s Office wants to keep our citizens safe and minimize hazards to First Responders who will not be put at risk unnecessarily with this closure.

Make the right choice, Stay Safe, Heed this closure order and stay away from the Okanogan River.