Storm Response Update for the Week of June 4th, 2018

A LOT OF DEBRIS HAS BEEN REMOVED - A LOT STILL REMAINS:

Although cleanup crews removed a great deal of debris from the lake over the weekend, and the lake is open, boaters and those who do opt to swim or ski in the short-term, should know that there is still quite a few large pieces of debris, limbs and branches in the lake.

Should you come across pieces of debris in the water that you would like to remove, you can take them to Pool Creek Picnic Park (next to the ABC Store) and drop them off on the shore, (not in the water).

In addition to its own staff from Lake Operations, the Lake Lure Police Department, Lake Lure Fire and Rescue, and the Public Works Department, the Town gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance and support from Lake Lure Adventure Company and the employees of Lake Lure Tours.

The massive cleanup effort over the weekend made an incredible difference!  

Cleanup work by Town staff and its crews will resume this coming week.  

 

ASSESSING THE STORM'S  LONGER-TERM IMPACTS ON THE LAKE:

Bottom mapping of the lake is the next priority for the Town, as we now have some highly shallow areas, particularly at the mouth of the river. Bottom mapping involves surveying the lake bottom, taking depth soundings to see how shallow the lake is and where the sandbars have accumulated. 

We want to get this baseline information very quickly before much of the silt settles out, and the newly deposited bedload creeps toward the end of the silt shelf, explained Clint Calhoun, Environmental Management Officer for the Town of Lake Lure. 

Once that occurs, the Town can conduct another round of mapping and see what the net impact has been. The Town will also conduct additional drone flights to see how well the sandbars show up in an aerial view.

 

REGARDING POST-STORM WATER QUALITY:

The water remains quite turbid and has a lot of silt in it. Stormwater runoff often has lots of contaminants in it such as chemicals from motor vehicles. There is still a great deal of debris and potentially wastewater from septic systems that may have possibly been infiltrated during high flows.

Typically during significant storm events, fecal coliform numbers can be high due to the excessive runoff. Those numbers normalize within a few days after the heavy rainfall event has ceased and runoff water is absorbed.

Water testing will be completed this month. In the meantime, the swim and slide area at the beach have been treated with potassium permanganate, a chemical that temporarily turns the water purple, but is highly effective in killing bacteria. As the sun shines and the water clears, water quality should improve dramatically over the next few days.

 

SNAKES & OTHER WILDLIFE ARE DISPLACED:

Often during large flash floods, such as we have had here in WNC over the last month, snakes can pose a problem and show up in places you might not have expected.

It isn't as common as it is in the Eastern portion of the state, but certain species will often retreat to higher and drier ground particularly after a large flood event.

The public and our visitors are urged to use extra caution in the coming days and weeks, particularly around sheds, trails, boxes, garage areas, and even in the middle of the roadways.