Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 19, 2013

Heavy rains cause mess at popular Va. lake

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — This summer’s heavy rains have caused a mess at one of Virginia’s most popular recreational lakes.

The News & Advance reports (http://bit.ly/1dIHlNj) that hundreds of tons of debris, trees and branches have washed into Smith Mountain Lake, covering pockets along some shorelines with a thick layer of gunk.

Ken Stump, who performs various duties at the lake, says that in a normal year workers contracted by Appalachian Power Company will pull about 400 tons of debris from the water. This year, they had already hauled out 1,400 tons before the Fourth of July weekend.

Appalachian Power built the lake and operates the hydroelectric pumped storage dam. The utility urges boaters to use caution and never assume the lake is clear because debris could emerge any time after a storm.

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