Montana Water Deaths Up Due to High, Fast Water

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Montana officials say eight people have drowned in the state so far this year compared with three in all of 2010.

That includes three in the past week.

On July 5, an Oregon woman visiting family in Missoula drowned after being washed from a raft on the Blackfoot River. The day after that, a Billings man drowned in Lake Elmo. Then the day after that, another man drowned after falling from a boat on Canyon Ferry Reservoir.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim says people should be warned that this year is different because of the high, fast and cold water in the state’s waterways.

The Missoulian reports that’s because this winter’s high snowpack and cool, rainy spring have kept rivers running higher and faster than normal.

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