Snowmelt creates cold, swift-moving King County area rivers that could become dangerous

If you're thinking about heading to one of the local rivers, expect everything but calm waters. Our Q13 News crew spent Tuesday in Fall City at Snoqualmie River where they saw firsthand just how fast the water was moving. 

We spoke with Alex Haines who just wrapped up a two-hour tubing excursion with friends. He said he was out there for a Father's Day celebration and he was surprised how challenging it was.

 "I'm a grown man, 6-foot-4, a good 200 pounds and it was very challenging for me," said Haines.

Haines said he thought he was going to spend the day relaxing floating down the river, but that wasn't the case.

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"The water is probably 3 or 4 times faster than I expected," said Haines. "It was going well until, we hit a log and we were moving fast and we tipped over, it's really cold."

Haines said luckily he had a life vest on.

"Usually I'm like it's fine I don't need a life jacket but I'm very glad I had one on because as soon as I flipped out I was upside down and then I was able to float on my back and get to a little tide pool and then I was ok."

According to King County Search and Rescue, these rivers are stone-cold, and recent high temps in area rivers are filling up with snowmelt from nearby mountains. 

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Sgt. Tim Meyers with the King County Sheriff's Office said there will be increased patrol safety presence at Snoqualmie River, Green River, and Lake Sammamish. With more people heading to the water, KCSO wants to emphasize how important it is to wear a life vest.

"When we cycle or ski we wear a helmet, when we drive our cars we wear a seatbelt. We have really become mindful of our personal safety and that needs to be extended onto the lake," said Meyers.

Meyers also added that local rivers are not a place to be overconfident.

"It's that initial shock, that cold water shock, your body is just not prepared for it and that can induce panic and other things and often times we see folks get into trouble," said Meyers.

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