Carter County

Volunteers clean up Watauga Lake

HAMPTON, Tenn. - All of this rainfall keeps pushing water levels higher and higher and forcing trash and debris into area lakes. Saturday was the 4th annual Watauga Lake clean-up.

Large pieces of Styrofoam were floating in the Watauga Lake -- that's one of the many reasons why people came out to help clean it up. "We went where TWRA wouldn't go, like the big island out here across the lake and places," says volunteer Adam Buckles.

Buckles is one of about 50 people who battled the strong rain to do his part in keeping the lake clean. "The conditions were terrible. There is rain everywhere, it was lightning and storming. It's been raining on us all day long," adds Buckles.

We learned regardless of the weather it was important for Buckles and others to come out to clean up the lake and help save wildlife. "Can lids and anything round, plastic, can get around a duck's leg or a duck's neck and actually kill them," says Watauga Lake cleanup organizer Tony Weaver.     

We learned the lake levels are up now because of all the rain we've had over the past few days. Weaver says when the water starts to go down, more trash may pop up. "It's important to help keep our beautiful lake clean. It's important the community gets involved. They see it clean so they want to keep it clean," adds Weaver.

That's why Weaver is calling on everyone to pick up any trash they see while out on the lake. "Just try to pick up your trash. Always know even if you didn't put the trash there if you just take a minute to pick it up it'll be a lot cleaner for everyone else," says Weaver.

Meanwhile, Buckles tells us even though he spent the day cleaning, he loves being able to help his community.

Water levels have been coming down at the Watauga Lake from the record set earlier this month, but it is still higher than TWRA officials want it to be.

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