Merced River expected to flow 4 to 10 times faster starting Wednesday

Local News

MERCED COUNTY, California (KSEE/KGPE) — The Merced River will flow anywhere from four times to ten times faster starting Wednesday below Lake McClure according to a warning from the county of Merced on Tuesday.

Described as “deceptively fast,” Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke says that the river should be avoided as the fast currents are dangerous.

Please heed our warnings. Stay out of the river for your safety as well as the safety of our Sheriff’s Deputies that handle water rescues.

Vern Warnke, Merced County Sheriff

Usually flowing anywhere from 200 to 450 cubic feet per second, the current will increase to around 2,000 cubic feet per second according to the county.

When the weather heats up, people naturally gravitate toward water to cool off. Although the river may seem inviting, it can be treacherous. Going for a swim is not worth losing your life.

Mike van Loben Sels, Merced County Fire Chief

The flow is expected to return to current speeds after July 24.

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