Hot weekend, cold water in local rivers


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Temperatures outside may be heating up but the rivers are still colder than you may think. 

This weekend is bringing more 80-plus degree heat and that means places like High Rocks on the Clackamas River are busy with people trying to cool off.

A sign at High Rocks warning swimmers of the risk. (KOIN) 

“The heat, yes it’s finally here,” said swimmer Erica Vail.

And while they may be sweating on land, taking the plunge could be a shock.

“It’s really hot and we jumped in the water and it’s really cold in the water,” swimmer Eli Mizock said. “I jumped in off there and swam across and got out because it was too cold.” 

Clackamas Fire and Rescue crews are warning people that the Clackamas River is about 50 degrees and you could easily drown as your body instinctively reacts to the cold.

“I’m not getting in the water though, because the water is too cold,” Vail said. “I’m good off the cold.”

“You get in and instantly your whole body is in shock,” Mizock said. “It’s freezing there is a current, you’re getting pushed around. Definitely a little distressing.”

The water is a little warmer in the Willamette River at about 60 degrees.

Officials say wearing a lifejacket is a must regardless of your swimming ability. 

There is also a lot of debris in the water after the winter, which can be a hazard for swimmers. 

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