Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Boaters endangered on Pend Oreille

Boaters on Lake Pend Oreille are urged to watch out for logs and other floating debris after a log boom failed at the Clark Fork Delta’s drift yard. A debris field about 100 yards wide and a quarter mile long has been spotted near Memaloose Island in the lake, according to the Bonner County Sheriff’s Department. Additional logs have been spotted from the Clark Fork Delta to Hope, Idaho. Lt. Ed Jochum of the department’s Marine Division was planning to fly over the lake Wednesday afternoon to get a better idea of how large the affected area is. “It’s moving into the heavy boat traffic area,” he said. “All of it’s a hazard. We’re doing our best to mark it through flagging and solar lights, but it’s going to be impossible to mark every log.”

The boom that catches woody debris flowing out of the Clark Fork River and into Lake Pend Oreille was broken for six hours Tuesday. The breach was discovered around 3 p.m. and a temporary fix was put into place around 9 p.m., said Bill Dowell, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the drift yard. During that time, logs and other debris escaped from the drift yard. Some of the logs with big root wads are easy for boaters to spot, but other material floats just underneath the water, Jochum said/Becky Kramer, SR.

Most likely, the drifting logs will head for Priest River outlet, but don't slam the pedal to the metal in any part of the lake. Having the bottom ripped off is a quick trip to the bottom. Wear you life jackets and slow down

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Should the city re-double its effort to find lifeguards for Coeur d'Alene's City Beach?

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