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Removal of houseboats from lake's shore begins
Crews begin breaking up eyesores
A crew from Boat Dock Works clears the remains of several houseboats that have been grounded. - photo by Tom Reed

Work has begun on the removal of three sunken houseboats off Lake Lanier across from Laurel Park in North Hall.

Boat Dock Works of Gainesville has been at the site since Friday, with owner Brad Wiegand saying Monday he hopes to complete the job by the end of the week.

Property owner Ann G. Krummel said she is glad to put the ordeal behind her.

“It’s been a bad dream,” she said in a brief interview at her home Monday. “I’ve been on the lake 30 years and I’ve never encountered anything like this.”

Krummel has been under pressure by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove the boats, which sit submerged at the water’s edge of her Mandalay Road property.

Reached at her Stone Mountain home in April, she traced the problems to a strong storm last summer.

“One boat went down and then the other one went down,” she said. “ ... And then, somebody put two holes in my other boat. It’s just been hell for me.”

Krummel contacted area companies, but “nobody (seemed) to know what to do.”

The corps also had been dealing with Krummel.

At one point, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Georgia Environmental Protection Division were notified, but “They cannot help us since there was and is no (gas) spill,” ranger Jack Taylor has said.

At a June 4 appearance in U.S. Magistrate Court in Gainesville, Krummel reported that she had found a way to get the boats removed before July 4.

The boats lie in the main channel leading to Laurel Park, where the American Legion Paul E. Bolding Post 7 holds its annual July Fourth fireworks display.

“We have our barges and excavators on site,” Wiegand said Monday.

“We will use our excavators to pull the sunken houseboats out of the water and then we will disassemble them and load them onto barges, then float the debris out of the area to a staging area that (the corps) has designated to contractors on the lake.”

Wiegand said his company does “a lot of shoreline cleanup on Lake Lanier.”

“I’m a Lake Lanier native,” he added. “It’s very important to me and my company that this lake remains in pristine condition for the tourist industry, for the recreation industry and water quality.”

Wiegand wouldn’t say how much he is charging but that the rate “was extremely discounted due to the importance of getting the area cleaned up before the Fourth of July celebration.”

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