Many people in Columbus and Phenix City are raising concerns about the safety of the Chattahoochee River after five apparent drownings in one month.
The most recent was a few days ago, when the body of a 56-year-old man was pulled from the Phenix City side of the river.
There are signs posted along the riverfront warning people that the river is dangerous for swimmers, and these tragic deaths are a reminder of just how true that is.
We know the Hooch is scenic and beautiful and can be inviting on a hot summer day, but it is also extremely unpredictable. Frequent water releases from the dam make swimming downstream hazardous.
These recent deaths come as the completion of the white water rafting project is expected next fall, putting more people in and on the river. There will be safety training for rafters, and they'll be required to wear safety gear like helmets and life vests before hitting the water.
We all love the Hooch and appreciate what it means to the region, but what we don't need are more deaths, so we are urging folks to please heed the warnings and stay out of the river.
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906
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