Lake drained for park improvements - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lake drained for park improvements

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November 14, 2005

Cook County - The usual boats and fishermen at Reed Bingham have been replaced with bulldozers and construction crews. "The lake is basically dry right now," said Chet Powell, Park Ranger.

 For the first time in it's 35 year history, the lake from the Little River is empty, with only a few river canals and muddy puddles. "It gives us a chance to inspect the dam," said Powell.

It also gives them a chance to make some park improvements, like rebuilding old boat ramps. "Our boat ramps have been broken off and we have a lot of vehicles that were damaged by them over the years," said Powell.

 And while the project may create a minor inconvenience for those wanting to use the lake, Powell says in the end, it will be a lot cleaner and safer. "With some of the equipment they have, we're going to take out some stumps and problem areas that were dangerous before," said Powell.

Park Rangers say a lot of people want to come out and fish in the river canals, but they're not allowing them to.  It's so muddy and wet that it can create a big safety hazard.  "There have been hundreds of floods over the years and there's several feet of silt and mud and you can be walking firm and go straight up to your waist or even deeper," said Powell.

But rangers say with a little patience, the end result will be worth the wait. The lake should be full again in about a month.

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