Rafters hit the rapids after historic Chattahoochee dam breach - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Rafters hit the rapids after historic Chattahoochee dam breach

Tyler Smith Tyler Smith
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

It's only been two days since the historic Eagle and Phenix Dam was breached and already people are heading into the rapids. Tyler Smith, 13, and his father went rafting on the Chattahoochee Thursday. 

"The waves were up to 8-feet-tall and going through them was crazy. You would be going down and the next thing you know, you would be looking at the sky," said Tyler Smith. 

Joey Robinson who works at Outside World on Broadway in Columbus says this opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for rafters. 

"It's brought together, a whole new set of rapids a whole new look at the rapids and it really kind of solidifies what they are doing with the Whitewater project and the restoration project for the river." 

Robinson says though it's only been two days since the dam was breached, they have had over two dozen folks call and ask about kayaking classes. In anticipation for whitewater rafting, Robinson says Outside World is expanding, adding a whole new section upstairs.

"It's going to be an area for people to go up there and have dressing rooms and register for rafting trips and [it will] kind of be a staging area as well," said Robinson. 

Crews were working on the dam Friday getting it ready for Sunday's blast. The 13th Street Bridge will be closed. People who want to see the breach are asked to stand in Woodruff Park near the CSU campus or the Phenix City Amphitheater. 

Though the course is still a long way from being complete, paddlers like Tyler Smith are getting a head start.  

By the end of next year, expect to see a full-fledged whitewater rafting course. 



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