On Monday afternoon three generations took to the Rio Grande in celebration of a 9-year-old’s birthday.
The crew — two grandparents, five parents and eight grandchildren all wearing life jackets — said they put in at Siphon Beach in Corrales where there were some rapids, and floated about seven miles on paddleboards and tandem kayaks to the Alameda Bridge.
They were far from the only ones to take advantage of a river swollen with run-off from higher than average snowmelt.
The river is running about 4,600 cubic feet per second, which is four times higher than it was this time last year. These conditions are expected to last several weeks.
With that in mind, city officials reminded residents to “be prepared and be safe” when partaking in water sports.
At a news conference — which had to be moved after the first location flooded — officials urged boaters to keep a close eye on kids and to know what they’re capable of.
“Please wear a real life preserver if you’re going to the river,” said Mayor Tim Keller at the news conference. “That is one obvious answer that will solve 90% of the challenges we have in the bosque. Don’t go in the river just because you know how to swim.”
Albuquerque Fire Rescue, the Albuquerque Police Department and New Mexico State Parks will be doing additional patrols along the river, watching for fires or those who need help.