Spring storms have left debris and damage along Tennessee River

Debris from severe storms two weeks ago is causing problems for boaters on East Tennessee lakes.

At Volunteer Landing, Billy Lush Boards and Brew lets people enjoy the Tennessee River near some pretty cool downtown landmarks, but an increase of debris, trees, and trash are impacting that landscape.

"When the TVA drops the lakes and the water rises up there's always going to be debris that's picked up and floats down so the first part of the year it's kind of typical to see that,” explained Billy Lush Boards and Brew owner Kenny Reed.

Paddle boarders are instructed to watch out for debris and any dangers in the water.

"If they're paddling close to the bank there could be submerged tree branches that we want them to steer clear of. You can usually see those things because you're on a paddle board," Reed said.

Over at Ijams Nature Center, river captain Jake Hudson works keeping this trash out of Knoxville waterways.

"Worst that I've ever seen in 10 and a half years cleaning up the river. This year we've had trees, root balls, huge trees, dead animals, all kinds of trash coming down the river," Hudson said.

Hudson believes a combination of drought last year and severe rain this year have led to these conditions. He warns boaters to be cautious, drive slow and use safety vests.

“The dangerous ones are large and almost submerged if you hit something like that your boat stops instantly you don't,” Hudson said.

Reed says the debris hasn't impacted their business and they're hopeful the worst is behind them.

“Since that current has been pushing out we've seen things get better over the past two weeks,” Reed said.

Jake Hudson said again: take things slow on the water. A crash with a submerged tree can do a lot of damage to a boat and potentially sink it.

He says if you see an issue out on the water to contact 3-1-1 if you're in Knox or Loudon counties to get it cleaned up.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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