River safety concerns follow high water event

River safety concerns follow high water event

INDEPENDENCE, LA (WVUE) - After a week of high-water concerns following Tropical Storm Cindy, the waterways in Southeast Louisiana are swollen, so much so that some parishes closed recreational activities on the water over the weekend.

Dawn Panepinto with Tangipahoa sheriff's office says even after a storm the water can be deceiving.

"What you see at the top of the water is not necessarily the same thing that's going on underneath and it's very dangerous so take extra precaution anytime you're out here especially with your children you need to keep them close," Panepinto said. "With the water being so high and the current being so swift it's pretty dangerous out there."

In fact, Panepinto says in this situation even as the water drops it can make the river even more dangerous.

"The river has receded 17-inches, which is making it narrow which makes it swifter. The currents are more difficult this morning than they were last night," Panepinto said.

Panepinto says in the accident over the weekend, the water was moving so rapidly it was difficult to respond. It's why she says small children should always wear a flotation device even if the water seems fine.

"Be close and pay attention to your children, if you walk away for just a second, for a minute, sometimes that's too long," Panepinto said.

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