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TVA to increase safety patrols, notifications about line work starting June 8 in Tennessee River near Decatur

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DECATUR, Ala. - Starting next week, the Tennessee Valley Authority plans to replace some of the high voltage transmission lines that cross the Tennessee River near Decatur.

Crews will be working near the Round Island Creek public use area starting on Monday, June 8. This is the portion of the river that links Morgan and Limestone counties, and it's close to the location where a boater was killed two years ago as other transmission lines were being replaced.

This time, TVA officials say they aren't taking any chances and will have plenty of safety personnel on the river to warn boaters of the danger.  TVA says they'll have two TVA police boats and 7 TVA safety boats in the water to warn boaters of any possible danger on the waterway.

TVA plans to broadcast information about line work on marine channels 13 and 16, which will help commercial traffic. but the overwhelming majority of fishing boats that use the river every day don't carry marine radios.

That was the case in July 2013.  TVA was replacing some of these same lines when something malfunctioned and one of the lines dropped into the river.  Three hours later, as they were pulling it up, a small fishing boat much like this one snagged it.  A passenger in the boat was killed instantly and officials say had the other person in the boat been sitting just a couple of inches higher, he, too, would have died.

Once the work starts on June 8, it's expected to last approximately 10 days.