Appalachian Power is warning boaters to avoid the intake side of Smith Mountain Dam. Last night’s high winds and waves 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 were unsuccessful earlier today. Efforts to fix the barrier will resume tomorrow at daybreak, which is the calmest part of the day. Appalachian offered a sincere thanks to the Smith Mountain Marine Volunteer Fire Department for their efforts to assist in 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 3-feet in diameter and 4-feet in length. They are made of thick wall plastic and are extremely visible with a bright orange finish. They are connected with galvanized chain and hardware, and meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements.