James River dangers include strong current and debris - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

James River dangers include strong current and debris

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

The James River is well above flood stage and it's going to be high all weekend. A major fishing tournament at Osborne Landing had to be canceled because the waters are just too dangerous.

It's the current and the debris that make the James River so dangerous right now.

"There's trees," said Jerry Olgers. "I don't mean just logs, whole trees and barrels stuff like that coming out floating down this river."

Olgers has lived near Osborne Landing his whole life and knows how bad the river can get.

"Oh it could tear that boat up," he said. "I've seen the Game and Inland Fisheries go out of here with two engines on that boat and the boats screaming trying to go up against this current."

The Rayovac FLW Series fishing tournament was supposed to be held at Osborne Landing this weekend. But after looking at these conditions, anglers agreed to reschedule.

The James River Association says there is also a recreational advisory because of the train derailment in Lynchburg, which spilled crude oil to into the water.
 
"It shows that the James River is really a river at risk," said Bill Street, CEO of the James River Association. Utility leaders say they haven't found contaminants in the Richmond area, but Street says a number of pollutants have washed into the water because of all the rain.

"There's a lot of pollution that's contained in that storm water runoff that goes into the James River and can really be damaging to the health of the river," he said.

For now, experts say to just stay away from the James until the water recedes.

According to tournament organizers the fishing tournament has been rescheduled until September.

Minor flooding is expected into Friday night.

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