Wood debris and trash line the banks near Harry Dehaven Park on Claytor Lake in Pulaski County. It is a mess that has been floating on the water since flooding in February.
"The floods gave us more trash and debris than we've ever seen," said Laura Walters, president of Friends of Claytor Lake. "We had two barges. Now we are down to one. [The flood waters] lifted it up and when it came back down, it evidently plunged a stump through it."
Right now, a small crew and conveyor system is all they have to get the job done. It is why they have asked the county to buy another barge and crane system, like the one used at Smith Mountain Lake.
"It would make it a whole lot safer operation," Walters said. "We'd still have guys in the water some, but not as much. It would make it 10 times or more faster. It also would enable us to work longer during the year. We wouldn't have to necessarily wait until the water was warm enough to get in."
The barge and crane could set the county back more than $100,000, but the idea is for Appalachian Power to pay the county to lease the equipment.
"What we need to do right now is continue to meet with Appalachian Power and Friends of Claytor Lake to try to come up with a solution as to how to pay for this equipment with an end goal, of course, of trying to come up with a more efficient manner to remove this debris," said Robert Hiss, assistant county administrator, so those living here, or just visiting, can have a safe and clean experience on the water.