A major waterway that snakes through Sampson, Bladen and Pender counties has had a makeover, as crews have been working hard to clear out debris that’s piled up over the years in the Black River.
Crews have been using a technique called snag and drag, helping them unclog parts of the Black River.
“It’s very hard work, it can be demanding and it can be very dangerous,” said project engineer Greg Thompson.
Thompson has been leading crews in the Black River’s most recent snag and drag project for the past four weeks. The mission is to clear nine miles of the river of overgrown trees and debris that has made it a nightmare for boaters to travel.
The contractor is literally hooking up a wire, to snag and drag the debris from out of the river, to clear the path from fisherman to go through.
Making the river passable for boaters is just part of the project since blockage has produced major drainage problems and flooding in Pender County.
“Parts of the river have that debris has been stuck up and cause more flooding on the river banks and we will remove that so no more flooding will happen in that area,” said project manager Paul Parker.
A minor snag and drag of the Black River came after Hurricane Fran hit in 1996.
This time around, Pender County Officials want the job done right while preserving it’s historical importance to the region.
There are parts of the river that have been deemed untouchable, anything serving as natural habitat for area wildlife.
The river snag and drag project costs $95,000. It was paid for by a grant from the Department of Water Resources.