Richmonders take to the James River over the holiday weekend even with VDH advising caution in the water


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Despite a water warning from the Virginia Department of Health, there wasn’t a shortage of people out enjoying the waters of the James River in Richmond on Sunday.

Severe weather generated from the remnants of Hurricane Ida that passed through this week has blown pollutants into Virginia’s rivers, which pose a health risk if water is ingested or comes into contact with open wounds.

VDH advised that anyone going into the water over the course of the long Labor Day weekend use caution and their best judgement.

Several groups of friends told 8News on Sunday they just wanted to take a break from their daily lives and just float down the river.

Others were just walking or biking the trails, taking advantage of the nice weather.

Alex Budnick spent his Sunday floating on the James River, but he has a reminder for anyone taking advantage of the long weekend:

Vehicles at a James River access point in Richmond. Several area residents took to the waters despite VDH warnings about pollutants being present from recent severe weather. Photo: Sabrina Shutters/8News

“Be responsible. Labor Day, obviously, you can do some crazy things whenever you hit holidays, so just have a good time and respect other people,” he said.

Earlier, 8News confirmed with Richmond Fire an incident along the James River where a man, part of a group tubing the river, jumped from a bridge and hit his head.

The man has been hospitalized after being treated at the scene for a head laceration.

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