After teetering over the edge of dam for days, boat is removed, NC officials say
Days of heavy rain in North Carolina created a Hollywood cliffhanger in the most literal sense on Lake Adger.
A pontoon boat was stuck atop the dam, half of it teetering over the edge as waters spilled around it.
After more than a day of waiting, the boat was eventually removed from where it was precariously dangling and returned to its dock of origin, WNCN reported.
Held in place by a tree branch, the boat was pulled off the dam by members of multiple state agencies, who tied ropes to the pontoon and “anchored an electric winch to a tree in order to pull it back in to shore,” according to WSPA.
No injuries were reported, and the dam wasn’t damaged, WLOS reported.
“This is one of the things you really don’t train for,” Polk County Emergency Manager Bobby Arledge said, according to WSPA. “It was just a little nerve wracking at times.”
On Monday, the town of Columbus posted photos of the boat’s predicament, and noted Polk County Emergency Management was “assessing” the situation. The lake is about 95 miles northwest of Charlotte.
Investigators said the boat was floating freely during the severe storms on Sunday, and drifted up to the edge of the dam in the Mill Spring area, near N.C. 9.
The dam, also known as the Turner Shoals Dam, is 87 feet high and 665 feet long, and generates hydroelectric power on the Green River, according to LakesOnline.com. It is owned by Polk County, according to the site.
Polk County Emergency Management posted late Monday that heavy winds and high lake levels prevented crews from removing the pontoon boat.
“It is too dangerous for anyone to get close to the boat with the current conditions,” Monday’s post said.
“We know there is no one on the boat and there is no immediate threat to life. We are going to reevaluate the situation in the morning to see if the lake levels are low enough for us to get close enough to remove it. There is no danger to the dam at this time.”
Sgt. Toby Jenkins with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, told WLOS the owner of the boat has a home nearby and has been in contact with investigators.
“They thought they had it tied up good and secure, but we had some pretty violent storms last night, and I guess it just broke loose,” Jenkins told WLOS on Monday.