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Originally published: 2013-07-29 16:09:42
Last modified: 2013-07-29 16:09:42

Forest Service urges no swimming after Wilson's Creek drownings

by Staff Reports

The U.S. Forest Service urges visitors to the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to avoid swimming in the forests' creeks, rivers and streams until water levels recede, a statement said Monday morning.

"Water levels are more than a foot above normal in some waterways. High water levels and strong currents pose a safety risk to visitors," the Forest Service said. "Three swimming-related fatalities have occurred in the Pisgah National Forest this month."

A man and a 10-year-old girl drowned in Wilson's Creek over the weekend after wading into the water and being swept away by a strong current, according to media reports.

Visitors should also avoid climbing near waterfalls and be aware of the potential for flash flooding, it said.

Forest officials advise visitors to check the National Weather Service forecast before leaving home and to be alert for changing weather conditions while visiting the forest. 

"Devices like a weather radio, a terrestrial radio, a smartphone application or a cell phone mobile alert can help visitors stay tuned in before and during their outdoor activities," the statement said.