High, fast Poudre River conditions prompt multiple water rescues

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — The Poudre Fire Authority rescued two kayakers near Whiteriver Park in Fort Collins on Friday afternoon, and they said they were on another rescue later that night.  

They got the call around 4 p.m. about two people who seemed to be in distress in the Poudre River. The kayakers were stranded on debris under the railroad crossing on the river. 

Crews managed to help move the kayakers to safety. Neither was injured. A spokesperson for PFA said the outcome could partly be attributed to a crucial piece of safety equipment: a life vest.

“The two people here today were wearing a life vest, and as you said, if they hadn’t been, there’s no way to know for sure but there could have been a different ending. Injuries, who knows,” said Annie Bierbower, public information officer for PFA.  

Bierbower said they are seeing a perfect storm of conditions on the waterway. 

“The river is starting to flow fast, the water is getting high, and the weather turns warm and that’s when we really start to see an uptick in rescue calls,” Bierbower said. 

She reminded anyone who plans to hit the rivers this spring and summer to check water and weather conditions first. Both can change quickly.  

Bierbower said PFA uses the Poudre Rock Report to get the latest on the water flow. Visit the Poudre Rock Report website for information.

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