Duke Energy Warns Boaters to Use Caution on Area Lakes

Duke Energy warns boaters to use caution on Area lakes

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by Christine Noel
by Adam Stevens, Photojournalist

CHARLOTTE, NC-  Duke Energy is urging boaters on area lakes and reservoirs to be cautious when hitting the water this weekend. The record high lake levels due to recent storms can cause serious problems for boaters and residents living on the lake.

Cornelius resident, Doug Fritz has lived on Lake Norman for almost 3 years. He says, he's never seen the water levels on Lake Norman as high as they've been the past week.

"I'd wake up in the morning and look to see how high the dock was floating because my dock can only float so high before it starts hitting the gear boxes," says Fritz, "... the water was rising up 6 inches a day for two or three days."

Lake Norman is just one area waterway connected to the Catawba River Basin that has hit record high levels due to large amounts of heavy rainfall.

Recent storms have also littered the lake with debris: tree limbs, pieces of broken wood from docks and other items that Ron Shoultz from the Lake Norman Marine Commission says can be dangerous for people on the water.

"If you've got a skiier, or a tuber, or a wake-boarder.. you've got to be really, really vigilant," says Shoultz.

Another issue- large wakes from fast moving boats. Shoultz says when dealing with high water levels, big wakes can do a lot of damage to docks, piers and sea-walls.

With more rainfall expected in the next few days leading to rapidly changing water conditions, there is really no telling just how long it will take to get the lake levels back to normal.

In the meantime, Duke Energy is urging boaters and water-lovers to be careful when hitting the lakes. A warning that Fritz says is important so that everyone can safely enjoy our waterways.

"Especially with the weather we've had lately, you have to use extreme caution," says Fritz.

Duke Energy is moving water downstream to create storage space in Lake Norman and Lake Wylie to hold additional rain.

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