Coast Guard officials urge boaters to use the Missouri River wit - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Coast Guard officials urge boaters to use the Missouri River with caution

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

The Missouri is a different river than the one you remember.

Tuesday, a member of the coast guard pointed showed us the changes and the hazards following the historic flooding.

Right now, it's hard for boaters to even get in the water.

Siouxland Coast Guard and Auxiliary member, Doug Potts, says the first time boaters go out, they need to treat it like the first time they've been out on the river.

Last year, the problem was too much water, this year, it's not enough water.

The river is full of sandbars.

And boaters might have a hard time even getting into the water, because a few ramps are full of sand and silt.

"The concerns last year of course there was no boating allowed on the river. It was totally closed to boating. This year, it's a whole different river. The sandbars are in different places, the snags, the deadwood is in different places. So the first time out be extremely careful," Doug Potts, a Coast Guard Auxiliary Member.

Another hazard that water users need to watch out for are the banks along the Missouri River.

With the flooding, people who fish or walk along the edge, need to be very cautious because the banks could shift or fall out from under them.

So that's why it's important to wear life jackets any time people are near the water.

"We hope that people realize the danger of being on those banks and do wear their life jackets, boating wear your life jacket. We average in this area five drownings a year and we don't want that to be an average this year," Lorraine Groves, the President of the Siouxland Dive Rescue.

Both can't stress enough that people need to use common sense around the water.

The area boat ramps that are open are the Sioux City and Dakota City boat ramps for smaller types of boats.

And currently, the Missouri River Boat Club, is letting boats go in and out of their ramp for free until they put the docks in and then they will charge a small fee.

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