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Four rescued from surging Arkansas River in Pueblo

Firefighters credit life jackets for successful mission
Arkansas River rescue Pueblo Medium.jpeg
Posted at 10:14 PM, Jun 08, 2024

PUEBLO, Colorado — Firefighters with the Pueblo Fire Department Swift Water Rescue Team brought four people who were stuck in the Arkansas River to safety Saturday evening. The rescue took near Pueblo City Park. All four individuals were wearing life jackets which the department credits as a contributing factor in the success of their mission.

"We ask that you continue to use extreme caution anytime you are on or near the water," reads a message posted to the department's Facebook page.

Water levels at Lake Pueblo have surged as heavy rainfall combines with the annual spring runoff. The manager at Lake Pueblo State Park told News 5 on Friday the river is flowing downstream from the dam at a nearly 4,000 cubic feet per second (CFS.)

The Pueblo Dam ordinarily slows the flow of the river allowing fishermen and tubers to safely enjoy the tail waters. The rain and runoff have caused the dam to release a greater amount of water than usual.

Park Manager Joe Stadterman warned it is not safe for any type of activity near the water.

"Everyone should wait until this river advisory is lifted and the flows are back to normal.”

The high water is covering a section of the Arkansas River Trail near Pueblo City Park where Saturday's rescue occurred. Pueblo Parks and Rec Friday temporarily closed a section of the trail from the City Park trail head to the new pedestrian bridge because of the danger.

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