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May 12, 2016Duke Energy to suspend flow from Wateree River near Camden May 14 to allow truck recovery
Duke Energy will shut off the flow of the Wateree River this weekend to allow the salvage of an 18-wheeler truck and trailer that went over the Interstate 20 bridge into the river, and to allow inspection of bridge supports that may have been damaged by the truck.
The shut-off is set for a 24-hour period from 6 p.m. Saturday, May 14 until 6 p.m. Sunday, May 15.
Boaters and others who use the Wateree River are advised to use caution if on river during this time period, and for as much as a full day afterwards. “Action to recover the rig has the potential to cause a public safety and law enforcement officer safety issue in the Wateree River from the dam to the confluence of the Wateree and Congaree rivers,” said Bob Perry, director of the Office of Environmental Programs with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). There will be a low flow period followed potentially by somewhat of a rapid rise.”
When the recovery of the truck and trailer is successful, Duke will ramp up to normal flows as soon as possible; ramping up is intended to cause a more gradual downstream rise, but because the river may be so low, it may still cause a rapid rise downstream. It may take somewhere from a half day to a full day for the river to “normalize.”
Perry said Duke Energy consulted with DNR, the S.C. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in making the decision to suspend flow on the Wateree River.
The 18-wheel tractor-trailer carrying mail processing equipment went off the Interstate 20 bridge over the Wateree River near Camden on May 1.