Appalachian Power is warning boaters to avoid the intake side of Smith Mountain Dam.
High winds and waves Friday night, March 25, broke the floating boat barrier that keeps boaters away from the dam’s forebay between the Bedford and Pittsylvania county sides of the 800-foot-wide Smith Mountain gap. Attempts to make repairs Saturday, March 26, were unsuccessful.
Efforts to fix the barrier resumed Sunday, March 27, at daybreak, the calmest part of the day.
Appalachian Power has extended a sincere thank-you to the Smith Mountain Marine Volunteer Fire Department for their efforts assisting the power company with fixing the barrier.
Used to keep boaters away from the intake side of the dam, the barrier is about 840 feet in length to allow for flexing during normal plant operations and inclement weather. The barrier floats are three feet in diameter and four feet in length. They are made of thick wall plastic and are visible with a bright orange finish. They are connected with galvanized chains and hardware and meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements.