VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – Authorities in Warren County are warning of potential boating dangers on the Mississippi River. Parts of the Mississippi River are below average water levels.

Officials with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson said the low water levels are due to a lack of rain between the Missouri to Mississippi River water basins. With water levels predicted to fall even lower, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office is urging boaters to use extra caution when on the river.

“The pleasure craft that would be on the water are exposed to objects protruding out of the water that normally would be submerged well under the surface and of no problem. But in low light conditions, especially early morning and late evening fishing boats, ski boats, things of that nature, could run into obstacles such as stumps that are out of the water, other types of obstacles and debris that could be very hazardous to the boaters,” said Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace.

Marty Pope, a hydrologist at the NWS in Jackson, said, “Trends over the next month, we’re seeing what’s going to happen now. We’re looking at here we’ve got you can see the river. It’s been rising a little bit, but we’re actually going to see it fall over the next month. And the areas it’s fallen to will be close to what we got to back in 2012. This is like a decade, every decade, we’ve had a very low period, and we’re pretty much in line with that again this time.”

Pace said the low water levels could make it difficult for rescue to get to boaters who become stranded in the water.