With all the rain West Michigan received last week, the Kent County Sheriff's Department suggests avoiding local rivers until they slow down.

According to WOOD, canoeing and kayaking can be highly dangerous for those less experienced and with high water levels, it increases the speed of local rivers making them more dangerous to travel.

Many of the area dams are wide open letting the water through because of the amount of rain that has fallen lately to cut down on the possibility of flooding but at the same time this also makes the rivers less safe.

Once the rain slows down, so will the speed of the local rivers and they will become much more safe to travel.

High moving water also makes it more dangerous for rescue teams to save someone if they do fall in which is a double whammy effect.

Plus, even though its warm and sunny out, the water temperatures have not risen to a safe level and falling into to cold water can lead to cold water shock which can also lead to a quicker drowning.

Over the winter and spring months, many objects shift or new objects appear which can also cause problems for those even familiar with the rivers.

If you do get into the area rivers make sure and have your personal flotation devices on and in some cases maybe even wear a helmet.

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