Portion of Augusta Canal drained for maintenance

By: Domonique Benn Email
By: Domonique Benn Email

December 13, 2006

You may have noticed some parts of the Augusta Canal are bone dry, and that's affecting boat tours in the area.

Maintenance has shut down one part of the canal.

The portion of the Augusta Canal near Enterprise Mill is off limits.

It was a surprise to Cecil and Jane Faircloth.

"I've never seen this thing drained down like this," Cecil said.

Augusta Canal National Heritage Area marketing director Rebecca Rogers says the water was drained last week so maintenance could be done on an intake gate where the water flows in to make electricity.

"We've had to shut our generator down, so for the last two weeks we haven't made electricity," she said. "So we have had to go back to Georgia Power."

Boat tours are on hold until the maintenance is complete.

Now the Petersburg boats are being held to the upper part of the Canal at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion.

"It's sort of like a bath tub," Rogers said. "Water comes in at the upper end and fills up, and when you need to drain it, you pull the plug."

In turn, you get an empty bowl effect.

"I was just amazed that it is deep as it is supposed to be," Jane Faircloth said.

Pretty soon this man-made canal will be back to normal, with everything flowing smoothly.

Workers are expected to fill that portion of the Canal back up by the end of the week.

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