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Downed trees creating dangers for boaters after winter storm

Hazard reports to the Lane County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol can be made directly by calling 541-682-8995.

Posted: Mar 6, 2019 7:00 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Last week's winter snowstorm caused trees and branches to fall into rivers across the county, leaving behind dangerous conditions for boaters.

On Tuesday, deputies with the Lane County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol cut off a portion of a tree that had fallen in the Siuslaw River. Sgt. Steve Sieczkowski said they're going out to check on hazards across the county.

"Any of them that threaten life and safety, we try to put them in high priority and try to get them addressed immediately," Sieczkowski said.

The fallen trees are creating dangerous conditions for kayakers in Lane County who are right in the middle of their season. Tanya Scoggin, a kayaker and assistant manager at Oregon Paddle Sports, said the downed trees can be deadly for even the most experienced boater.

"That's one of the most common ways boaters die is debris in the river in the forms of snags and strainers and cross river logs," Scoggin said.

Sieczkowski is urging boaters to know before they go. Information on hazards can be found at boat ramps and online at the Oregon Marine Board's website. He's urging boaters to let them know if they see any hazards and said that information can be just as important as wearing a life vest.

"We'll go out and evaluate the scene, take photos of it, get the information posted so that other people that are going to plan their trip will have the information as well," Sieczkowski said.

Hazard reports to the Lane County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol can be made directly by calling 541-682-8995.

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