Xcel Energy urges people to be safe around dams

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Xcel Energy is urging boaters, anglers, canoeists and other outdoor lovers to be careful around dams and hydroelectric facilities as the weather warms up.

Xcel, which serves customers in western Wisconsin, runs 19 hydroelectric facilities on eight Wisconsin rivers. The utility warns that boating or canoeing above or below a dam can be extremely dangerous, especially if the flow changes.

The utility suggests people obey all warning signs; wear life jackets; never swim or wade near a dam; leave boat motors running to provide maneuvering power; stay clear of spillways; carry a cellphone; and make children aware of the dangers of straying too close to a dam.

Gov. Scott Walker has declared this week Dam Safety Awareness Week.

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