Wisconsin Public Service supports Dam Safety Awareness Week April 29-May 4
Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) is urging recreational and fishing enthusiasts to be safe around dams and hydro electric facilities. The message is part of Dam Safety Awareness Week April 29-May 4, as declared statewide by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).
With the start of inland waterways fishing season, the week’s purpose is to emphasize the importance of “safety” near dams and on waterways to help prevent accidents. Many of the accidents and fatalities that occur near dams could be prevented by using common sense, practicing safety, staying clear of dams and understanding the dangers to be found near them.
WPS operates 17 hydro electric facilities on the Wisconsin, Peshtigo, Tomahawk, Menominee Rivers and encourages “safe” recreational activities in areas above and below the dams.
WPS is a member of the Midwest Hydro Users Group, an association of dam owners who promote safe, efficient, economical and environmentally friendly use of hydroelectric power. The group urges outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the many recreational resources that can be found around dams in Wisconsin.
Some safety precautions include:
•Obey all signs and barriers. They are for the public’s protection.
•Any sirens and flashing lights indicate an imminent change in water level or flow.
•Bring a cell phone and contact 911 in an emergency.
•Wear a personal floatation device (PFD), a life jacket.
•Always stay outside buoy lines and away from restricted areas near dams.
•Never swim near a dam.
•Never boat or fish alone when near a dam.
•Leave your boat motor running to provide maneuvering power.
•Stay clear of spillways; changing currents and “boiling” waves that can make boat control difficult near dams.
•Reverse currents occur below dams and can pull a boat back toward the dam into the spillway and capsize it.
•Never anchor boats below a dam because water levels can change rapidly.
•Especially in spring, cold water can cause hypothermia that could result in death from drowning.
•Always have a safe escape route planned when near a dam. Be prepared to evacuate at the first sign of danger.