Washington County TN

Boone Lake woes felt by residents and businesses

Response on Boone dam construction

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. - Some homeowners and local businesses are disappointed the construction on Boone Dam won't be completed until 2022.

TVA originally predicted the project would be finished between 2020 and 2022.

Now that they're two years into the project, the TVA has a better understanding of the timeline and says it's leaning towards the latter side of the predication.

One homeowner is worried he won't be around by the time the dam is finished.

"It's a little more discouraging because it's going to take a little bit longer, especially when you're my age you don't know if you're going to be around by that time." Said homeowner Tom Mckee.

He's live on Boone Lake since 1959.

Seeing the lake the way it is now is disheartening for him.

He used to be able to take his boat out from the comfort of his own dock, now, that's no longer an option.

"My boat's hung up in the well and there's no way I can get it out." Mckee explained.

His grandkids face new obstacles when they come over to use the lake.

"if they're going to swim, they're going to have to walk down through the mud to get to the lake." Mckee said.

Local businesses are also affected by the construction.

The water at Rockingham Marina is on a deeper part of the lake, so it can make adjustments more successfully than others.

"We decided to go ahead and move the whole marina, all the slips and everything, 80 feet. So by moving them out 80 feet, all of our docks are sitting where they normally would in a summer pool." Explained Rockingham Marina owner Doug Sams.

For he and others, business is down.

"Lake traffic has dropped significantly, we were the largest seller of fuel on the lake before the lake dropped, and our business is cut in half... so business due to boat traffic is down." Said Sams.

While both Mckee and Sams face obstacles with the construction on Boone Lake , they do understand how important it is.

"We're talking about a dam failure that could've been catastrophic, particularly Kingsport, and they can't take a chance like that, i understand that." Thought Mckee.

"We want them to to take as much time as it takes to keep the dam safe." Said Sams.
 


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