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Crews remove debris from Smith Mountain Lake

By Frankie Jupiter, fjupiter@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 15 2013 07:32:33 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 15 2013 10:47:17 PM EDT

Homeowners, businesses, and boaters on Smith Mountain Lake are still dealing with cleanup from last week's heavy rains.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. -

Crews are working at Smith Mountain Lake to clean up debris caused by last week’s storms.

“It looks really nice on days like today but a couple days after the rain, we get the runoff and its debris. The water changes color and it’s not very pretty," said lake resident Theresa Chandler.

Chandler welcomes the site of clearer water.  The lake was filled with debris after days of rain and run off making its way from Roanoke.

“We're talking large trees, tires, anything you can imagine that can float," said Chandler.

Chandler says she even spotted an ice chest floating in the water. Crews used barges and other machinery to clear the coves near Chandler's home. She says she typically sees the crews about twice a year, and they spend weeks cleaning up debris.

The debris is an eyesore for some; for others it’s a loss of business. Wayne Mize owns Bay Roc Marina.

“We don't rent if the current is to strong or there is too much debris out there we won’t rent and we discourage people from going out," said Mize.

The debris affects the marine life, and trying to maneuver in the murky water can be dangerous and damage boats.

“If it’s submerged and the person doesn't see it and depending on sunlight that can happen coming off the water,” said Mize. “It could hit a lower end unit, tear up the prop. It could do some damage and cost hundreds of dollars.”

“When the debris is out it's definitely not safe. Like I said, it's trees and everything in the water, so it's not safe to be on the water, but now it’s cleared up and looks very nice."