High water closes Riverwalk, River Park trails along the Catawba

Posted May 7, 2013 4:25 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

Heavy rains this week up and down the Catawba River basin have led to local officials in Rock Hill to close two riverside parks until further notice.

Duke Energy is again urging caution as higher than normal water makes its way though the Catawba River Basin. Duke officials say some streams are flowing at 50 to 100 times their total volume of water along the Catawba and Wateree Rivers.

City of Rock Hill Parks and Recreation Operations Supervisor John Taylor says Hometown Security officials first learned of additional water being let out of Lake Wylie late Tuesday.

Additional floodgates have been opened at the 13 hydroelectric power stations along the rivers.

The closure in Rock Hill includes River Park and several attractions at the River Walk off U.S. 21, including the Canoe/Kayak Launch and the Piedmont Medical Center trail.

Taylor says this is the first time River Walk has been closed due to high water. He could not estimate how high the water could rise, but anticipated at least some erosion at the facility that snakes along the Catawba River.

Duke Energy offered these tips on ways to stay safe in high water conditions:

  • People who live along lakes and rivers and in other low-lying areas or areas prone to flooding should pay close attention to local media for changing weather conditions and rising lake and river levels.
  • Know your area’s flood risk. During rains that have lasted for several hours or even several days, be attentive to the chance of flooding.
  • High water conditions and debris can create navigational hazards and the public should use caution and adhere to the advice of local emergency management officials before going on area lakes or rivers.
  • Those living along lakes and rivers should move loose objects away from the shoreline to prevent creating additional navigational hazards.
  • Members of the public who have electrical service to facilities (piers, outside lighting on seawalls, etc.) on or near the water, should have a qualified electrical contractor de-energize this service to avoid injuries and equipment damage.