Savannah River water levels at record high

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News 12 First at Five / Friday, July 5, 2013

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's the difference in a good day and a bad day for Steve Wright and his family business.

"It's definitely not safe right now; we're not renting any kayaks and we're not putting anybody on the river right now until it calms down," he said.

The rain's to blame. In fact, more than a foot fell just in June alone. That's the highest in a decade, and July's already a washout.

"Last fall, and even early spring, when we put people in the river, we were worried about getting stuck on rocks because it was so low," Wright said.

He says just in a week that's completely changed.

"Yesterday afternoon, it was so high that the islands were underwater."

The river has risen more than 3 feet in the last week. It's not good news for people wanting to get out on the river this weekend.

"Unless you're a very experienced kayaker, you really shouldn't be in the river right now," he said.

But it's quite different for Ivan Bryson this weekend.

"I come out here every weekend," he said.

His kayak is sitting much higher than it usually is.

"Much, much higher; I think it's the highest it's ever been here that I'm actually going to go down and try it," Bryson said.

He says what's most dangerous is what's under the rising water.

"Most of the rocks are covered up because the water is so high," he said.

It's trouble for inexperienced kayakers and anyone else on the Savannah River, for that matter.

"Don't go out there expecting it to be like it was last summer or last fall or in the spring, go out there expecting it to be fast," Wright said.

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