Today’s water release from the Ocoee #3 Dam occurred at 9:00AM as scheduled. It takes the water about 1 1/2 hours to make the two-mile trip from the dam to the Ocoee Whitewater Center (OWC). Our plan today was to be at the center to watch the water arrive then to enjoy a lazy day picnic while watching the rafters conquer the river. I probably blew through the rest of my monthly 5G data limit loading the videos up to YouTube. I hope you enjoy the show.
There is a walking bridge that crosses the Ocoee River just as the river reaches the OWC. In this video, I am standing on the bridge looking upstream. Shortly after the water arrives, you will see the early rafters having to wait for the water to rise down stream. The horns you can hear are the warning signals letting swimmers know that water is approaching and they should get out of the swimming holes quickly.
Once the rafters arrived, I turned around on the bridge and shot this video looking downstream. The rock wall in the video is about 24″ tall.
Meanwhile Carol was at the other end of the OWC at our picnic spot. She recorded this video with her iPhone. It took about 8 minutes for the water to make its way from where I was to where she was. You can see how quickly the water rises in her video.
A few minutes later, Carol captured the first spill of the day. You will notice a large crowd gathered on both sides of the river. This section is very dangerous and is where the river claims victory over many rafters. There are guides on the banks ready to toss a life rope to those tossed from their raft. In this video you can see everyone got tossed. Fortunately everyone was rescued and nobody was hurt. In the time we watched the rafters, there were about 6 or 8 additional spills.
As I was making my way back to the picnic area, I paused at another bridge to shoot this video. These guides were hot dogging their rafts by purposely aiming their raft for a rock that jutted out of the water. At the end of the video, one of the guides achieved their goal.
Water release on this section of the Ocoee occurs only on Saturday (8 hours) and Sunday (5 hours) from Memorial Day through Labor Day. I’ll be doing a little more research to discover how much water flows from the Ocoee #3 dam.
We had a good outing today. The weather was beautiful. The dogs loved getting out for a change. Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now.