SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – It was another day of extreme heat and with the ongoing drought, conditions out on local waters are not becoming ideal for water recreation. 22News spoke with James Brunelle, Manager of Brunelle’s Marina in South Hadley, who told us boaters and swimmers need to be careful of the low water levels.
This most recent heat wave has people seeking ways to cool off, some even heading out to the water, swimming and boating. “This season has been incredible. People are out there enjoying the river! Every weekend it’s a great crowd here,” said Brunelle.
Around this time last year, marinas across western Massachusetts, including Brunelle’s Marina, were dealing with flooding waters after July saw plenty of rain. However, this year a drought is causing water levels to go down at the Connecticut River.
Parts of the bank near Brunelle’s Marina is exposed where water should be, meaning the water level is low. According to the National Weather Service, the Connecticut River at Northampton is currently at 102 feet above sea level. Ideal is around 104 feet. Low water levels means people taking part in water recreation should be more cautious out on the water.
“More trees might be exposed, under water structures might be around and you might see it but more or less you, just need to be careful and watch your depth finder and slow down a little bit,” said Brunelle.
According to the US Drought Monitor, most of western Massachusetts is experiencing moderate drought while the eastern part of the state is seeing severe drought. And a reminder, never swim or boat in unfamiliar waters.