Heather Black

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Video: Tenn-Tom Waterway Tour Proves Economic Stability

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — The Tenn-Tom Waterway is known for fishing or skiing during the warm weather, but it also plays a major role in the region’s economic stability.

Members and their spouses from the Waterway Authority Board from Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky gathered at the Stennis Lock and Dam to take a tour of the Tombigbee.

“Just to kind of orientate them to the waterway and operation and maintenance of the waterway and the opportunity to lock them and lock and dam,” says Rick Saucer.

With six million tons of commercial traffic each year, it’s proof that the Tenn-Tom Waterway is important to the economy.

The Tombigbee Waterway not only serves as a get away for a community but it also plays a huge role in economic growth in our surrounding areas.

“One of the major things from that stand point is the steel mill here in Columbus,” says Saucer.

Thanks to the Tombigbee Waterway, the local steel mill can truck scraps to some of the largest corporations like Severstal.

That’s why board members want to learn first hand the benefits of the under-rated waterway.

“We just want to get out here and experience it for ourselves so we can when we’re talking to different interested parties those who my want to locate along the waterway economic development purposes is good to have some real world experience,” says Ross Gunnells.

For Tennessee Board Member Ross Gunnells, the Tombigbee is more than a place of business. It’s like home.

“As a kid I spent time skiing on the waterway, fishing and hunting as well so glad to be able to get back on the waterway,” says Gunnells.

No matter what board members are hoping to experience along the tour, there’s no doubt the Tenn-Tom Waterway is a special place.

Refreshments were also provided for board members during the tour.