Canals Aren’t the Place To Cool Off When It’s Hot
When the temperature rises local authorities become concerned about people drowning in area lakes and rivers but there's another place where people drown when it's hot, irrigation canals. Children die in the canals every year around the country because kids see them all the time many close to home. Officials with the Bureau of Reclamation says the canals aren't designed for swimming. The water is fast, cold and deep and canal walls are sometimes steep and treacherous. They say pumps and other hazards in the water can trap and drown a person. A canal that sits empty all winter and then fills up in the spring is an enticing site to a lot of young children.
Bureau of Reclamation officials say staying out of the canals means staying alive. Not only do they urge kids to stay away but also pets during the long irrigation season. Every year pets and wild animals die in the canals all around the country.
So while they play a vital role in watering the Yakima Valley the canals are dangerous if they're used as a way to cool off during the hot summer months.
The Bureau of Reclamation has created a series of videos on You Tube that warn of the danger of swimming in a canal and they've started the annual safety campaign as well.
Now that summer has arrived the Yakima Valley is under a heat wave especially this week.
The forecast from the NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE is for 100 degrees on Friday, 104 degrees on Saturday, a whopping 107 degrees for Sunday, and cooling off only slightly by Monday with a sweltering 106 degrees being predicted.