Debris makes boating hazardous after flooding; boaters cautioned - | WBTV Charlotte

Debris makes boating hazardous after flooding; boaters cautioned

Cathy Roche waded to her boat dock noting the water was waist deep just one day ago. Roche, a member of the Mountain Island Marine Commission, took WBTV on a tour of the lake to show floating hazards from Tuesday's flooding.

"What we have in the lake now is a lot of debris that is a result of things that didn't get secured in time and floated off of docks and in some instances we've had docks themselves float away," Roche said.

Most of the items though were large limbs and logs sometimes drifting along in muck stretching two to three feet long.

"That's not don't get that kind of wood concentration in the lake normally," Roche said.

"That's why I'm being very alert because it comes right up on you and the water is kind of choppy, you can't see it real well," Roche's husband said.

Duke Energy compares debris filled lakes to icy roads in the winter asking boaters to avoid the water until levels recede and some of debris floats down the river, sinks or washes up on shore.

"The marine commission has told people if they must go on the lake to go at slow, no wake speeds so as not to endanger themselves or lake front property including docks and more lake front erosion," Roche said.

Beyond the hazard of hitting floating debris, there's the trouble of navigating the water without some important makers. Buoys were either missing or mis-placed.

A spokeswoman for Duke Energy said the company is "focused on ensuring lake safety, and will secure and remove large floating hazards to navigation such as loose docks, piers or watercraft....[and] will remove debris that blocks boating access as resources allow noting that natural debris will dissipate on its own over the next few weeks.

If anyone spots large floating navigation hazards, they are asked to call Duke Energy Lake Services at 1-800-443-5193.

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