Boater ignores warnings

November 09, 1997



Staff Writers

BIG SPRING - A boater who ignored warnings about the danger of high water in the Potomac River Saturday afternoon narrowly avoided being swept over Dam No. 5, according to Washington County Fire and Rescue dispatchers.

The unidentified man put his boat into the rain-swollen river shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday and immediately got into trouble.

The men who warned him not to launch the boat called 911 and reported that the boat's motor had apparently failed and the boat was being swept toward the dam.

Clear Spring and Williamsport rescuers were racing toward the Potomac River when dispatchers radioed at 1:07 p.m. that the man had managed to get himself and his boat safely to the West Virginia side of the river.


Flood warnings calling for water at up to six feet above flood stage were issued Saturday afternoon for the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry, W.Va., Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Point of Rocks, Md.; on the Conococheague Creek in Fairview; and for the Opequon Creek near Martinsburg, W.Va.

The Potomac was expected to crest in Washington County late Saturday and early today, according to the National Weather Service. An advisory against recreational use of the Potomac and major tributaries remains in effect through Monday.

Low-lying roads including parts of Rockdale Road, Independence Road and Broadfording Road were still closed Saturday night.

November 1997 now stands as the second wettest November on record at 6.29 inches of precipitation, second only to November 1972 at 6.54 inches.

Patchy light rain was forecast for this morning before clearing. Monday should be partly sunny and in the 50s.

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