The urgent message to “stay out, stay alive” from the Kern River could not have arrived on Friday at a more pressing time — since January, already two people are considered missing after the water swept them away and eight people died last year from treacherous flows.

“This is the highest I’ve seen (the Kern River),” Kern County Sheriff’s search and rescue Sgt. Paul Saldana said. “And, I’ve lived here all my life.”

You can reach Ishani Desai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow her at @_ishanidesai on Twitter.