Warning: Be wary on the water

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Minnesotans will enjoy hot weather and a pleasant forecast this Fourth of July weekend, sure to entice thousands of holiday revelers to relax at pools and beaches and on rivers, lakes and streams.

The Star Tribune reports that the Department of Natural Resources continues to warn water-lovers about uncommonly high water on lakes and rivers. Many are loaded with flood and storm debris in the wake of this spring’s relentless rains.

“[Swimmers] thinking about taking a dip in the St. Croix or the Mississippi rivers ... need to be aware that the high water can often mean a fast current, and a fast current could sweep you away,” DNR boating specialist Kara Owens told the paper. said.

The Alexandria Echo Press offers another reminder from the DNR that  urges boaters to slow down and use caution.

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District asks canoeists and kayakers to stay away because Minnehaha Creek in the Twin Cities is flowing at double the speed of what’s considered safe.

High water levels along the Mississippi may have created dangerous conditions that contributed to an accident involving a three-level tugboat that capsized and went over a dam near Dresbach on Wednesday. One man was killed.

A no-wake zone is in effect on the St. Croix River from Taylors Falls to Prescott, Wis. In Hennepin County, both Fish Lake and Medicine Lake have declared high water.

So far this year, eight people in Minnesota have drowned.

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