Hundreds of families are packed and prepared for a holiday weekend in Middle Tennessee, and many are Bedford County bound.
But swift water on the Duck River has proven to be dangerous in recent weeks, and emergency crews are releasing safety tips for those visiting.
The Duck River has been named one of the most bio-diverse rivers in the nation, leading to a steady stream of tourists.
Though rescue trucks are at the ready, Bedford County crews hope they are not put into use over the long break.
“We do like people coming here to Bedford County,” said Scott Johnson, Bedford County EMA Director. “But it’s critical that they stay safe.”
“We’re on standby with equipment, ready to go if need be,” added Rodney Schmiede, Lt. Paramedic. “Hopefully we won’t be needed so we can enjoy the weekend ourselves.”
It’s been a busy week for Rodney and the rest of the team, with reports of two people floating away while on the water.
One of those lost, was later found walking down a roadway in the county.
The other person was found on a rock and had to be pulled to safety from the river.
The problem comes from up stream, with extra water being released from the Normandy Dam.
“TVA’s releasing water out of the lake to try and anticipate the tropical storm coming up out of the gulf coast,” said Schmiede. “They’ve been releasing about three times the normal amount of water.”
On Friday, water rates were right around normal.
Officials expect pristine conditions for the weekend, but are asking all to watch the weather, watch the river, and be careful.
Bedford County crews urge everyone to:
- Bring plenty of water
- Keep a cell phone in a water tight box.
- Keep alcohol intake to a minimum.
- Know the location where you started floating the river
- Know how long you’ve been floating