Saturday, March 31, 2012

LWPOA Makes Navigation Easier

News to Know

Story by Kelly Caldwell

 Photos courtesy of

Tom Garland and Alabama Power

The Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association made it a little easier to navigate around Lake Wedowee this sumer.

In 2011, the LWPOA installed marker signs on Lake Wedowee's main channels: Little Tallapoosa River, Big Tallapoosa River, and Wedowee Creek.

A few years ago, Lake Wedowee Property owners chairman Tom Garland and his wife were on a boat one day and they noticed another boater in distress.

“We pulled up, and the guy had a cell phone in his hand but had no clue where he was to call for help,” Garland said. “That's kind of where this idea began.”

The marker’s lone purpose is to provide a location reference for boaters experiencing problems on the lake.

“The signs do not reflect navigability or water levels,” Garland said. “The boaters are still responsible for becoming familiar with water levels and other conditions affecting safety on the lake.”

The signs are designed to be seen from a distance measuring 18 inches wide by 24 inches tall. They have a yellow reflective background with black numbers.

The basis of the marker spacing is the approximate boat path from R.L. Harris Dam proceeding north along the lake and rivers. Some locations have been shifted to enhance visibility, and the marker locations do not correspond with the mile markers on commercial maps of the lake.

“We have maps with these markers available, and we are working with Alabama Power about getting signs denoting the pattern of the locations installed at the public boat ramps,” Garland said.

From the dam to the 48 bridge the markers are 1-9. Then splits into the rivers which are both 10-27. The Big Tallapoosa River markers, however, have black borders around the signs. Wedowee Creek is numbered 1-3 and also has a black border.

All of the signs are on the west or left bank (proceeding north) and are below the 795 elevation.

“We want them really visible to help the most people,” Garland said.

The marker locations are also on file with the emergency response personnel in the county.

The program has been a cooperative effort of LWPOA, Alabama Power Company, County Officials and Randolph County Sheriff's Department, Randolph County Emergency Management Agency.


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