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Lower Cedar River closed to recreational use because of several dangerous logjams

Summary

To protect public safety, the King County Sheriff’s Office will maintain its closure of the lower nine miles of the Cedar River between Maple Valley and Renton to recreational use because of numerous logjams and large trees in the river.

Story

A nine-mile stretch of the Cedar River cedar_spanner_webbetween Maple Valley and Renton remains closed to all recreational use due to safety hazards posed by numerous logjams and fallen trees in the river.

The King County Sheriff’s Office closed the nine miles of the Cedar River in July 2016 to all recreational use because of the hazards posed by several large trees and logjams.

The Sheriff’s Office and employees with the Water and Land Resources Division of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks recently investigated the river and identified several logjams and trees spanning the river, all of which pose substantial hazards to safe boating, swimming and other recreational activities.

One logjam washed away during higher winter river levels, but two new logjams have formed in the river, leading the Sheriff’s Office to maintain its river-closure order.

The river closure begins approximately 1.5 miles below the SR-18 crossing of the Cedar River (in the vicinity of Maple Valley Market) and extends through Ron Regis Park, covering river miles 13.5 through 4.5.

Swimming, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, floating and wading are all prohibited in the designated closure area until conditions improve.

The suggested takeout upstream of the closure area is at Habenicht Park, 22124 Witte Rd. SE, Maple Valley, just south of the SR-169/SR-18 interchange.

Signs announcing the closure are posted along the river, including at popular river access locations upstream of the hazardous reach.

Options to reduce the hazard and improve safety are being evaluated.

Information about known hazards in King County is available at kingcounty.gov/recreation/boating/rivers. Sign up to receive notifications of river hazards. Public Health – Seattle & King County recommends choosing safer swimming options with lifeguards present, such as a beach, lake or pool.

When floating or boating in rivers or other bodies of water, remember these basic tips:

• Always wear a lifejacket, regardless of your ability to swim.
• Avoid alcohol and drugs when recreating on the river.
• Watch children closely when they are on or near any type of water; stay close enough to reach them immediately.
• Always tell someone your route and when and where you expect to put in and take out.
• Have a back-up plan for emergency contact in case your trip is cut short by an unforeseen obstacle or emergency.
• Never float a river alone and, if possible, make sure there is at least one oared craft in your group in case a rescue is needed.
• Bring a dry bag with food, water, warm clothes and sturdy footwear for hiking around danger areas.