Swollen Reedy proves too tempting for kayakers - FOX Carolina 21

Swollen Reedy proves too tempting for kayakers

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A kayaker paddles to the shore after tumbling down Reedy River Falls. (July 31, 2012/FOX Carolina) A kayaker paddles to the shore after tumbling down Reedy River Falls. (July 31, 2012/FOX Carolina)

Tuesday's heavy rain caused rivers and creeks to rise, creating dangers for some. Others decided to make the most of the rapidly flowing waters.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning after it reported 2.73 inches of rain had fallen at the downtown Greenville airport. That rainfall forced the Reedy River, which winds through downtown, out of its banks, and Cleveland Park, situated along its banks, to close.

Meanwhile, some kayakers decided to take advantage of the heavy rain, which forced white water rapids to form at the popular tourist spot Falls Park in downtown Greenville.

Crowds gathered on Liberty Bridge to watch as, one by one, garbed in helmets and pads and grasping paddles, the kayakers tumbled down Reedy River Falls. Many of them pulled out their cell phones and recorded all the water - and the kayaker's attempts to go over the falls.

"Some people rushed up on the bridge, which made my iPhone, or Android phone, drop out and bounce on the pavement, and go right over the edge into the water," said Joshua Diedrich, who was visiting the park.

On the downside of the falls, the kayakers admitted the trip was not one for amateurs.

"I had friends with ropes at multiple spots just in case things went wrong," said Robbie Gilson, one of the kayakers.

Downstream from the falls there was a reminder of how dangerous the rising water can be. Rescuers had to pull a boy from the rushing river after he and some friends were playing with a rope swing.

"With the weather we had today, the water was high," said Steve Hunt of the Greenville Fire Department. "Don't be playing around the water. It could be a dangerous mistake."

Hunt said the water pulled the 15-year-old boy about a hundred yards downstream before he was able to get to safety and be rescued. Officials said the area where he was rescued is normally about 6" to 12" deep but with the flooding, it was between 6' and 8' deep.

FOX Carolina Chief Meteorologist Kendra Kent said that runoff from Tuesday's rain will keep rivers and creeks high until late Wednesday. She said there is a chance for showers Wednesday, but the rain will not be widespread.

Rain totals from Tuesday's rainy weather reached 3.17" in Travelers Rest and 3.1" in Mauldin. FOX Carolina iWitness reports included 3" from David in Taylors and 2" from Kim in Greenville.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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