TVA cautions about sinkholes on dry lake bed at Boone Lake

PINEY FLATS, TN (WJHL) – With the record low water levels at Boone Lake this summer, many people are doing what they can to take advantage of the dry lake bed.

Folks with Tennessee Valley Authority and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have cautioned people about walking and driving on the lake bed for various reasons, including hazards like rocks and tree stumps, and private property issues. Now, people can add sinkholes to that list.

Tony Jackson lives on Boone Lake and noticed a sinkhole while walking with his fiancé Wednesday evening. He said the hole may look small, but it slopes down, and you can’t see how far down and back the hole goes. He also said it’s definitely big enough for a small child or dog to fall into.

With more people finding activities to do along the lake bed, he’s worried someone will fall in and get hurt.

“There’s a lot of traffic out here with four wheelers, kids, lots of small dogs, Shih Tzu’s, Chihuahuas, and that hole, if they go down in it, you’re probably not going to see them again,” Jackson said.

A TVA spokesperson said people should be very careful when walking on the lake bed, and treat it more like a hike than a casual stroll.

TVA spokesperson Travis Brickey told News Channel 11 they are aware of the sinkhole and “that area is prone to sinkholes. The sinkhole is four miles from the dam so there is no impact as far as dam safety is concerned.”

Brickey also said TVA will mark and barricade the sinkhole Thursday. For the time being, Jackson has marked the area with a cinder block and 2×4, so people walking by can avoid it.

Copyright WJHL 2015. All rights reserved.

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