Lake Martin clean-up on hold

More than two weeks after the tornadoes, clean-up in one key area is on hold.  When the violent EF-4 tornado imposed its will along the banks of Lake Martin, many of the structures it destroyed, wound up submerged beneath the lake's surface.

"The debris is massive.  It's beyond what individuals and volunteers can do with small boats," said Charles Borden, president of the Lake Martin Resource Association.  "There are portions of houses, large pieces of timber, there's large upside piers, there's all kinds of debris on the lake."

Borden said on May 4th, the decision was made to get the Army Corps of Engineers involved with the clean-up.   A final decision from the corps has yet to come down.

"I get calls many times a day from the public wanting to do what is it the clean-up effort that is going to take place and when is it to take place," Borden said.  "All I can tell them is we're waiting on the decision from the Corps of Engineers."

The Alabama Marine Police has volunteered to be the lead agency in the cleanup of the lake.  Lt. Erica Shipman told WSFA 12 News its waiting from approval from the Corps to proceed.  In the meantime, officers are warning boaters to be very careful in the affected areas of the lake.

"I've heard reports just from this weekend, where boaters hit debris in the water, they tore up props, they tore up bottoms of the boat, and that is a concern of ours," Borden said.

Marine police also warn people heading to the impacted areas of the lake to avoid water-skiing or tubing. That's because of the dangerous conditions.  Other areas of the lake remain safe for boating and other activities.

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