High river water has rafters making changes

Rafting companies have changed plans for weekend rafting adventures. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

HARTFORD, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Rafters in the Smoky Mountains are having to make changes to their rafting schedules this weekend because the Pigeon River is almost too high.

This is the busiest weekend of the year for rafting companies in the Smokies. Rafting companies are giving customers extra safety instructions before hitting the water this weekend.

"The water gets up on the trees in the banks those become hazards. And we're moving so fast it's tough to gather people back up," said Daniel Jennette, with Smoky Mountain Outdoors. "Sometimes rain is a good thing, sometimes it's a bad thing. In this case we're hitting the point where we don't need anymore rain."

The Pigeon River is running at about 9,000 cubic feet of water per second, making the normal 90 minute rafting trip faster at about 45 minutes long.

"A cubic foot of water is about the size of a basketball. so imagine 9,000 of them bouncing around the water's moving very fast," said Brenda Shultz, at Rafting in the Smokies. "It has been great for the business. We've had to turn away business because of the high level of water we're only taking 12 years old and older."

Rafters are planning on going through the weekend with adjustments. Check with your company to see what changes they're making before heading for your trip.

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