Safety barrier not in place


Due to high river flows from recent snow melt and rain fall in northern Wisconsin, the boat restraining barrier upstream of Xcel Energy’s’s hydro plant in St. Croix Falls failed and is not in place at this time. 

With the fishing opener this weekend, boaters and fisherman are urged to stay away from the St. Croix Falls dam due to high river flows, debris in the water and unprotected spillway and powerhouse intakes. Power is being generated in the powerhouse and excess water is being discharged through the spillway section.

“Boating, canoeing or kayaking above St. Croix Falls dam is not recommended until the river recedes and we can safely install the boat barrier,” said Rob Olson, manager, Hydro Operations at Xcel Energy. “The boat barrier assists in keeping boaters away from the powerhouse intake and spillway section.”

Xcel Energy offers these tips for personal safety near dams:

  • Avoid using the river during times of flooding.
  • Obey all warning signs, barriers and flashing lights, horns and sirens.
  • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) – a life jacket.
  • Always stay outside buoy lines and away from restricted areas near dams.
  • Never swim or wade near a dam.
  • Never boat or fish alone when near a dam.
  • Leave your boat motor running to provide maneuvering power.
  • Stay clear of spillways. Changing currents and “boiling” waves can make boat control difficult near dams.
  • Reverse currents occur below dams. They can pull a boat back toward the dam into the spillway and capsize it.
  • Never anchor boats below a dam because water levels can change rapidly.
  • Bring a cell phone and contact 9-1-1 in an emergency.

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