Water hinders business, safety at Montgomery's Riverwalk

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - If there's one thing Montgomery has a lot of lately, it's water.

The city's 'Riverwalk' and amphitheater stand submerged by the Alabama River--and it's not the first time.

"Mother nature is just killing us this year," said Branch Kloess, the city's director of riverfront facilities.

"This is our 13th flood, and the fifth or sixth time we've been underwater on the stage--on the amphitheater."

The rising water forced crews to quickly relocate a concert this weekend.  They say the rough weather dips into ticket sales and skyrockets the costs for repair work.

"You're going to get some shifting--a little bit on the Riverwalk.  This stuff's expensive. Expensive to build. Expensive to maintain,"Kloess said.

The amphitheater isn't the only place dealing with Mother Nature.   Getting to and from the Harriett II is nearly impossible.

"It's no fun, but unfortunately, it must be done," explained first mate John Allen.

Allen has called the riverboat home for days, concerned his job could travel downstream.

"The dock could float away, so we need to be on board to make sure, if that happens, we need to leave," Allen said.

The crew canceled cruises because of the rain.  They say that's the plan for at least a little while longer.

"We've got another night, probably, to wait. Until we can walk across here and be sure that it's not going to rise anymore, then that's when we'll be able to go home for a while," Allen said.

Organizers are also waiting for a calmer weather.

"It's hard to do an outside venue if Mother Nature does not cooperate, so we're hoping she'll just calm down and give us a break," Kloess explained.

Crews tell WSFA 12 News they hope to have the Riverwalk cleaned and repaired in about three days time.

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