High water levels on Dan River could cause problems over Memorial Day weekend

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- For outfitters like Mark Bishopric, Memorial Day weekend can get a little busy.

“Right now, we have nine trips scheduled, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday,” said Bishopric, manager of Troublesome Creek Outfitters and Three Rivers Outfitters in Eden.

The businesses run kayaking and canoeing trips on four rivers including the Dan River.

But with heavy rain all week causing high levels on the Dan River, Bishopric says some of those trips might get canceled.

"Whether we run all nine of the trips we have scheduled, we probably won't,” he said.

“At this point, the river's extremely dangerous to life and health,” said Rusty Gray, chief of the Madison-Rockingham Rescue Squad.

Gray says back-to-back days of heavy rain have caused the Dan River to be eight to 10 feet above it's normal height as of Tuesday.

"Ultimately you could drown,” Gray said.

Gray says two public access points to the Dan River, including one at Lindsey Bridge Road, will be shut down until the weather improves.

“This access and the other access will be closed from this point moving forward,” he said.

But Gray says it's not just about height but a strong current and debris in the water which makes it unsafe at least for right now.

“Hopefully everything will get back to normal,” Gray said.

“It's not really something you can control,” Bishopric said.

By Friday, they hope to have a better understanding on when it's safe to open up access points to the public.

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