Water levels rise, boaters take extra precautions


EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)– With heavy rains earlier in the week, water levels are higher than usual, which means boaters need to take extra safety precautions.

“We always have three points of contact so when we go crazy nobody goes flying,” Jesse Richter from West Hartford told 22News.

Richter enjoys spending days like Saturday, on the Oxbow with friends and family. For him, safety starts before the boat even hits the water.

“We first put on our PFD’s our life preservers so we don’t forget them. We unstrap the boat. I check that the fuel tanks are in. Make sure everything is batoned down,” Richter said.

Both are guidance included in the handbook put together by the state’s environmental police. Jimm O’Donnell from Easthampton and Doug Hewitt from Amherst took another piece of advice, checking the forecast before they headed out on their kayaks. However, they did notice the rain’s impact during their five-mile ride.

“Yeah, there are no beaches. Beaches that are normally there are not there now,” Hewitt said.

The lack of beach area, proving how high the water levels are and that the area did see a significant amount of rain. Both were happy to finally get out of the house following a week of bad weather.

And Easthampton Police told 22News they are watching out for if the water surpasses where the boat ramp is, once it does it will have to be shut down.

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