Due to dangerous conditions, county closes Cedar River between Maple Valley and Renton

RENTON, Wash. -- The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks along with the King County Sheriff’s Office have closed a 9-mile stretch of the Cedar River due to dangerous conditions.

More than a dozen hazards have spotted in the river that has caused county officials to be concerned.

The warning signs are up and the message is getting out.

“I didn’t know it was going to be like this, but I’m glad I asked about it,’ said Christina Cederstrand, who was visiting the Cedar River from Bellevue.

The 9-mile stretch of the Cedar River between Maple Valley and Renton is closed because it’s too dangerous for people to get into the water.

“We’re going to tie ourselves to something. We see a big log right there so we’re obviously not going to float past it,” said Cederstrand, as she prepared a two person raft.

“If someone is floating down in a pool toy the river they might not be able to stop in time or adjust their course and they can get swept in and pinned under a log or rock and it can get very dangerous very quickly,” said Doug Williams with the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.

Officials with Natural Resources and Parks have been able to map more than a dozen hazards on this stretch of river. A high number, considering they say, they usually only deal with one or two a year.

Officials are now asking those floating in the river to get out at Habenicht Park before things get dangerous downstream.

“I know people like to go way up stream and inner tube all the way down stream. In the summer time hundreds float down the river, it’s a big deal around here” said Dave Tegeler, who brought his grandkids to enjoy the water. “

Tegeler is keeping his grand kids safe by staying on shore and away from the dangerous river.

“I didn’t know why the river was closed up stream but it’s a bummer because a lot of people use this river for rafting and stuff,” said Cathy Pasin, who lives in Issaquah.

The county is hoping people will pay attention to the signs and stay out of the water.

“We don’t take this situation lightly, to close the river but the danger to the public is pretty significant it’s pretty great,” added Williams.

The county says there are many Cottonwood and Maple trees in the area that will eventually fall into the river from old age.

They’re now looking at a long-term solution to deal with this problem, but until conditions get better, the section of the Cedar River will remain closed.