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Florence Leaders Hope Dam Work on Cypress Creek Will Help Boaters

FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Reconstruction is completed on an area of a creek in Florence that has been blamed for two recent boating deaths.

Two years ago before construction began, the low-head dam section of Cypress Creek at the Florence Water Treatment Plant was considered a dangerous place.

In the last 10 years, two men were killed in separate incidents when their boats were capsized in swift currents.  The city pledged to make the dam area safer.

“It was strictly safety mitigation only. It’s what drove this project, and I think we have accomplished that goal,” stated Mike Doyle, the head of the Florence Water and Gas Department.

Doyle said after two years of permitting through the government and construction, the work is finished.

The spillway and concrete walls are now gone, and in their place, water level passages lined with rocks.

According to Doyle, the safety work done also had to coincide with maintaining the city’s ability to control water levels.

“We have to be able to get the water and keep it at a level that we can get it out of the stream, to provide the drinking water to the citizens,” explained Doyle.

City leaders still ask recreational boaters to use the boat portage on the north side of the dam area during high water levels.

The reconstruction project cost the City of Florence $1.2 million to complete.

Minor work on the shores will be completed when warmer weather comes this spring.