By Patrick BloodgoodSeptember 5, 2019
Norfolk District officials overseeing the Dismal Swamp and Chesapeake and Albemarle canals, are closely monitoring and preparing for potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian.
According to Joel Scussel, Norfolk District project manager for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, the Dismal Swamp Canal's last lock openings is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today and then closing until officials deem the waterway safe.
Scussel expects tidal flooding to also impact operations along the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal.
"The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal will stay open until the tide on the southern branch enters the Great Bridge Lock or the water enters the electrical system at North Landing Bridge," Scussel said. "We expect the North Landing Bridge to close to vessel traffic this evening and the lock to close tomorrow."
After the storm, crews will assess damages and work to reopen the canals.
The district began releasing water from Lake Drummond on Sunday, bringing the level down over 12 inches below normal in preparation for any additional rainfall.
Also, the district has positioned its vessels into safe harbor at the Great Bridge Locks reservation. Both Norfolk and Wilmington District vessels moored there until the storm moves out of the area.
Boaters should continue to monitor weather forecasts, to include the U.S. Coast Guard's Notice to Mariners website and marine radio channel 13 for any updates.