Rain leads to more water rescues already this year than past several years combined

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - The people who enjoy the Flint River tend to spend a lot of time on it.

Kayaker Kenneth Greenleaf tells us he's out on the river at least once a week. He says, "I know it very well."

But he says right now, the water is high enough that he worries about people out there on it. He's not alone in his concern.

Huntsville-Madison County Rescue Squad Deputy Director Chad Tillman tells us, "This year we've actually had more water rescues in the first part of this year than combined in the past couple of years."

The water is so fast because of all the rain.

Greenleaf notes, "Even when it's not raining here, it's raining upstream, and it floods even."

canoe

Tillman adds, "For people in kayaks that's more fun, because now there's higher water. It's moving a little bit faster. However, the problem is, now it gets into the trees and the limbs that are overhanging. It starts to underwash the bank. Trees fall in, and that's currently the problem that we've got dealing with in one situation right now."

In general, if you don't know what you're doing, wait until the water goes down to try kayaking.

Also, Tillman suggests, "Always have a lifejacket with you. Always have your cellphone in a waterproof container attached to you."

Otherwise, if you flip, you'll get separated from your phone and be more difficult to find.