FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- The oppressive heat Wednesday made it difficult for some to do activities by the St. Marys River.
Fort Wayne Outfitters has kayak rentals but had to turn away some customers Wednesday. Retail and Rental Manager of Fort Wayne Outfitters, Forrest Bandor, explained some alternatives for customers when the river levels are too high.
“We have had to turn a couple of people away today but fortunately, we do have another location in Leo, it’s about 25 minutes north of us that is not affected by water levels,” said Bandor.
Around Monday, the river levels around Promenade Park started to rise and have been high ever since. Bandor explains the process of how determining if water levels are too high for people to kayak.
“The river typically sits anywhere between seven to eight and a half feet, currently at 10 and a half feet we need it to drop another half a foot, to get to that 10 feet region where the currents are going to slow up a little bit,” explained Bandor. “When it rises above ten feet, the current gets pretty swift and starts getting into the tree line, which then can cause some kayaking hazards,” Bandor explained. “That way if you get tangled up in a tree it could cause a cap size, we just want to make sure it is a good safe environment for everyone to paddle,” Bandor said.
On the other side of the St. Mary’s River, the Sweetbreeze rides can be impacted by the high water levels as well. But rides for Thursday are still planned to go on.
“We expect to have rides tomorrow, we have been monitoring the gage height that peaked a while ago and is coming down,” said Chuck Reddinger, Deputy Director of Recreation. “If we have to cancel due to water height, then we offer full refunds,” Reddinger said.
But while the river level is so high, there are some safety precautions to take.
“We do put up markings to keep people away from the water when it reaches those dock levels,” Reddinger explains. “We don’t want people getting into the water against a pretty strong current, you can’t see where the edge of the dock is, especially with little children so please stay back from those high water markers,” said Reddinger.