Days of rain bringing issues to local lakes and rivers

Risk of trees falling due to saturated ground

LAKE WYLIE, SC (WBTV) - Cautious boaters are finally returning to our local waterways after several days of rain.

Heavy rains that arrived last week have the potential to bring a series of problems. Not just high water and flooding, but also the potential for driftwood and tree stumps, and the risk of damaging outboard hardware attached to power boats if they get tangled in the wrong places.

Mike Stone noticed some of the pitfalls as he was bringing his boat in near Lake Wylie's Buster Boyd Bridge.

"Most of it you see. There is always that one log that's six inches under the water that no one knows is there you take a chance on hitting," he said. "But even today, we've had the last couple of nights. The lake is clear."

Saturated soil is another concern. The root structure of big trees are also in trouble following several days of downpours. It means the ground is so weak that it can't support trees that may be vulnerable.

Experts say fighting back means having a good preventative maintenance plan in place for the trees on your property. Doing that could help you avoid serious troubles down the road.

"It can be very detrimental to trees around structures and that kind of thing," said Wes Foster with Schneider Tree Care. "Once that soil composition is compromised by water, we can all see we have a lot of uprooted trees when it rains. Just very unsafe."

Back on the lake, it's not just logs and stumps posing a threat.

You may remember several weeks ago on our local waterways there was a fish kill. Nothing like that is predicted, but the Catawba River Keeper is concerned about what the recent storms could bring. The main worry at this point is bacteria in the water, and Riverkeeper Sam Perkins is concerned that recent developments could lead to algae blooms.

From what we understand, the changing conditions would not and will not impact local drinking water supplies, but when it comes to recreational use of places such as our rivers and local lakes, common sense is advised before taking a refreshing plunge.

"For people who want to get in the water and go swimming, they may want to pay a little more attention," Perkins said, "especially if you have an open cut or wounds."

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