Cedar River summer rafting forecast: Open and shut case

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Updated Thursday, May 15 at 5:15 PM

MAPLE VALLEY -- Open down below but shut at the slide zone, that is the river rafting forecast for the Cedar River.

The 1,000 plus rafters who hit the Cedar on a nice summer day will be happy to learn long sections of the river that were closed due to heavy debris last year will be open this year. But they may not be as happy to learn that the area near a major landslide from last weekend is closed and may stay closed all summer long.

While King County River Maintenance teams and members of the sheriff’s Marine Unit inspected the site Thursday to determine if it was safe to start pulling log debris, two large portions of the cliff gave way with mature hardwood trees tumbling down from above.

“We knew right then and there we wouldn’t be working at that site,” said engineer John Koon.

He and the Marine Unit are instead concentrating on the log jams down below. Marine team members looked more like river loggers today when they walked out onto the jams and tightened cables around the logs. Heavy equipment operators then jerked them out and helped clear a safe channel for rafters.

They said this is their best chance to make most parts of river safe and keep them open. But they say the closed signs will be clearly visible in the slide zone and they’ll be actively patrolling for violators.

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