The drowning death of an 8-year old boy last Wednesday was the fifth in Utah in two weeks. Water watchers continue to warn that not only have the very dangerous conditions not waned, they are likely to get worse as temperatures continue to warm.
Most people recognize that bodies of water can always pose danger, but many do not realize how dangerous the current situation is with the very high canals and rivers. The record snow pack in the mountains of Utah that was generated through the winter and spring remains well above normal and that means very high, fast moving rivers that can sweep living creatures away in a split second. Add to that extremely cold water temperatures that can quickly cause hypothermia and potentailly unstable banks caused by high water levels, and you have a recipe for disaster.
The mandate from area authorities? Stay away. That’s it, stay away and that means pet family members as well. Given the nice weather after so many weeks of a wet, cold spring, it is so tempting to head up a canyon to one of your favorite picnic or camping areas along a river. Don’t do it – be creative and find something else to do until water levels return to normal.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.