The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Union County

February 1, 2013

High, fast river sinks Lewisburg's Polar Plunge

Official: 'No one wants to see anyone in that water'

LEWISBURG - A high and fast-running Susquehanna River prompted Union County and borough officials to cancel the 8th annual Polar Plunge scheduled for tomorrow as part of the annual Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival.

The decision was made close to 1 p.m. today as officials viewed the river from the St. George Street landing, said Linda Sterling, director of the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership, which organizes the two-day festival.

The west branch of the Susquehanna at Lewisburg was near 14.5 feet at around 2:30 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage here is 18 feet. At that time, it was flowing at 79.5 kcfs, or thousands of cubic feet per second. 

"I'm really disappointed," Sterling said. But looking at river conditions with members of Union  County Emergency Management Agency and Lewisburg Borough Manager Chad Smith, "no one wants to see anyone get in that water, let alone for entertainment reasons. It's the right call to make,"

About 180 people pre-registered for the event, which sees people getting in and quickly out of the Susquehanna River, which as of deadline Friday was 32 degrees, according to the National Weather Service Mid-Atlantic River Forecast Center.

Lewisburg Downtown Partnership will contact people to refund them the $20 entrance fee. Those who received commemorative T-shirts will not get a refund, Sterling said.

Other Saturday events for the Ice Festival will take place as planned. 

Further information is available at the partnership website:



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