Warren firefighters stress dangers of Mahoning River dam where woman nearly drowned

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Warren firefighters are reminding people about the dangers of that area, which is just upstream of the Summit Street bridge

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – A woman nearly drowned after her kayak went over a dam on the Mahoning River in Warren on Sunday.

Now, Warren firefighters are reminding people about the dangers of that area, which is just upstream of the Summit Street bridge.

“I don’t remember, in my 28-year career, anyone surviving going over the dam,” said Warren Fire Captain Bill Gadd.

Luckily, that wasn’t the case Sunday when 41-year-old Lisa Zitello of Austintown went over it while paddling in the river.

Zitello was unconscious when a bystander and a police officer pulled her from the water. Another officer gave her CPR until a firefighter took over and she was taken to the hospital.

“This is a dangerous area right here at the low-head dam and there’s no reason to be anywhere near the water here,” Gadd said.

Gadd wants to warn people about how dangerous it is since it’s almost impossible to escape.

“It’ll take you underwater, swamp your boat, push you to the bottom. As you start to resurface, that topwater is coming back to feed that boil or that roll in the river and it’ll pull you back under. It’s a vicious cycle,” Gadd said.

Upstream, there’s even a sign posted along the river to warn people about the dangers ahead.

“We want them to enjoy the river and our city. It’s a great thing to have running through our city. We have miles of it and we train up and down it, but enjoy our river where it’s safe to do so,” Gadd said.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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