CAMPBELL COUNTY - Six weeks after heavy rains raised Norris Lake more than six feet, both boaters and business owners are looking forward to a the summer season.
For two weeks straight. TVA spilled water at Norris Dam for the first time in four years. The rare sight attracted thousands, but on the other side of the the dam the high water was causing headaches.
The excess rains created big problems for Norris Dam Marina, raising lake levels and making it accessible only by shuttle. Larger boats couldn't even launch.
"The only thing that's a little different now is we have some temporary walkways that we don't usually have because the water is still up," Norris Dam Marina owner Amy Bardo said. "It's at normal pool, but for the summer time it's up about eight to 10 feet."
The Norris Dam Marina was unable to rent boats for three weeks because of the high water and debris in the lake, but now the marina is back to normal operation just in time for summer.
"It's a relief. We're happy, we're excited" Bardo said.
Jay Webber has lived on Norris since 2009. He says there's still some debris on the lake, but ultimately the high water will translate to better boating this season.
"About another couple of weeks with all the boat traffic we're seeing now, a lot of that stuff will get washed to shore so it'll clear up a lot more," Webber said. "A lot of the areas that you were kind of restricted or worried about sandbars or things like that, we don't have to worry about that so much with the water as high up as it is."
Both Webber and Bardo say they look forward to the summer on the water.
"It's just a nice feeling to see everybody be able to get out, enjoy the weather," Bardo said. "The last couple weeks have been a kickoff so summer finally, so we're real excited."
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