By Ashley Rader
Mother Nature did not play nicely with others Saturday morning, putting a damper on the annual Watauga Lake cleanup sponsored by Our Community Gives Back.
Mary Salter, president of Our Community Gives Back, said the weather hampered the cleanup and kept many potential volunteers at home.
“We had thunder, lightning and torrential downpours from around 8:30 a.m. to around 12:30 p.m.,” Salter said. “The weather did affect the cleanup, but you don’t mix thunder and lightning with water. It is a matter of safety.”
Nearly 100 volunteers worked to clean the lake and collected close to 150 bags of trash, 30 tires and many large items that were floating in the waters or stranded along the edges.
Salter said some volunteers braved the weather to collect items from the lake in boats and kayaks. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency collected close to 30 bags of trash from its pontoon.
Salter said some volunteers had to take shelter under the Roan Creek Bridge when a storm hit, while others were caught in the downpour while walking along the shore line collecting trash.