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Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River hitting new lows for water levels

The Edmonton Riverboat Queen has stopped sailing for the year because of record water levels.

The North Saskatchewan River is seen in this file photo.

Leah Germain/Metro

The North Saskatchewan River is seen in this file photo.

Alberta’s hot dry summer has claimed another casualty as the Edmonton Riverboat Queen tied up for the year because of low water levels.

No one was able to speak to media, but a statement on the company’s website confirmed it would remain dockside.

“Due to low water levels we can no longer sail the ship. We have cancelled all sailings for the season.”

Glenn Rollans, vice-president of the Edmonton Rowing Club, said he has been on the water for 14 years and never once seen it this low.

“It has really restricted our rowing to one little stretch of the river near the club,” he said.

Rollans said the club’s annual Head of the North Saskatchewan Regatta, scheduled for the end of September, is in danger of an unprecedented cancelation.

“We have had to readjust it in the past to be on a shorter course, but I don’t think we’ve ever had to cancel it,” he said.

Cheryl Zarski, with the Edmonton Dragonboat Festival, said they’re going ahead as planned this weekend, but will run with three lanes instead of four.

She said she’s also never seen the river this low.

“The river is very, very low this year,” she said. “You will hit your paddle if you’re not careful in quite a few places.”

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