Area campgrounds are being repaired from early summer flooding

Areas along the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway experienced some unusual summer flooding in 2021

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Areas along the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway experienced some unusual summer flooding in 2021. After barges broke loose in early June, water began to make its way to several campsites and even people’s homes. Even though the waters have receded, the damage remains. The operations manager of the Tenn-Tom Waterway, Justin Murphree,  said one thing that made this round of flooding worse was a barge that broke loose, damaging the dam.

“The water that was flowing under the barges dug a big hole in front of the dam so right now we’re working through the contracting process to have that hole repaired. The other damage is to gate number 2 that the barge actually struck. We’re working through the contracting process on that as well. We’ll make temporary repairs to the gate to get us through this next flood season,” said Murphree.

The team plans to install a new gate next summer.

“We’ll have barges of rock of rip rap that the floating plant will be placing in the hole above the dam and we’ll also have concrete trucks out here pumping concrete at pretty much the same time,” said Murphree.

Pickensville campground and the splash pad at Dewayne Hayes campground have been closed for months because of recent flooding, but Murphree said they anticipate having both sites up and running by next year.

“The electrical system was damaged from the flooding and we’re in the process of acquiring some new equipment. That campground and the splash pad will not be opened up again until next recreation season which we’re getting to the time of year now where we would close the splash pad anyway so we should have it open by next year,” said Murphree.

Flood season is typically from November until April. Even with repairs underway, Murphree said they don’t foresee future problems and feel it won’t cause people to avoid the campsites.

“We are working with our industry partners to prevent that from happening in the future That flood would not have happened if the barges had not been blocking the spillway gates so I don’t think it will stop people from going camping,” said Murphree.

Murphree said they will announce when the Pickensville campground and Dewayne Hayes splash pad will be available in 2022.

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