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Boaters urged to use extreme caution on area lakes

Daniel Johnson, 8, of Mooresville, throws up a rooster tail of water after landing a trick during a practice run on Lake Norman last summer. Daniel has only been wakeboarding regularly since age 4, but he's already a national champion. He won his age-group division at the World Wakeboarding Association Nationals in West Chester, Ohio, in July and won a slew of local, state and regional wakeboarding tournaments.
Daniel Johnson, 8, of Mooresville, throws up a rooster tail of water after landing a trick during a practice run on Lake Norman last summer. Daniel has only been wakeboarding regularly since age 4, but he's already a national champion. He won his age-group division at the World Wakeboarding Association Nationals in West Chester, Ohio, in July and won a slew of local, state and regional wakeboarding tournaments.

Boaters on Lake Norman and other lakes in the Catawba/Wateree river basin should take extra precautions this week, as recent rains have intensified boat wakes and increased the amount of floating debris, according to Duke Energy.

The region experienced significant runoff from the rain, causing some lakes upstream and downstream of Lake Norman to spill or have gates partially opened, Duke Energy reported.

“The large amounts of water moving down the Catawba River and resulting high lake levels can create lake debris, including naturally occurring logs and branches, as well as loose structures and watercraft,” Duke Energy said.

Duke Energy manages Lake Norman and other lakes in the basin under federal license.

The debris can present a serious danger to boaters, the utility warned. “Similar to icy roads in winter, debris-filled lakes should be avoided,” the company said in a notice.

The Lake Norman Marine Commission advises boaters to use extreme caution during daylight and avoid the lake from dusk to dawn.

Marusak: 704-358-5067;

Twitter: @jmarusak

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