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Vandals dump roofing nails at blue hole

Dozens of roofing nails have already been recovered from a Lee County swimming hole, but officials say that hundreds more remain on the creek bed. A dive team will take up the search on Saturday.

Dozens of roofing nails have already been recovered from a Lee County swimming hole, but officials say that hundreds more remain on the creek bed. A dive team will take up the search on Saturday.

LEESBURG, Ga. — Members of the Lee County Fire Department's CERT Dive Team and other volunteers will attempt to collect dangerous debris from a favorite community swimming spot on the Kinchafoonee Creek this weekend.

Lee County Chief Marshall/Code Enforcement Officer Jim Wright said vandals dumped hundreds of roofing nails around the underground spring known as a "blue hole" along the Kinchafoonee, making the spot dangerous for swimmers who frequent the site.

"Things at that spot have been getting out of hand for a while now," Wright said. "But this is a new level of pollution. The property owners on both sides of the creek have complained about the beer cans and other debris being left by people swimming in the blue hole, but these roofing nails pose a danger to unsuspecting swimmers.

"We're asking the public to stay away from the area at least through the weekend, and we hope to get it cleaned up so that it's safe again. Dale Richter Roofing and Cook's Appliances have provided us with very strong magnets that we hope will get up most of the nails. It's just not safe there right now."

The naturally occurring blue hole provides an unusually cool swimming area during hot South Georgia summers, and groups frequently boat up the Kinchafoonee to the largest such spot on the state-owned waterway. However, adjacent property owners are left to clean up after many such partiers, and some have reported incidents of exposure and illegal consumption at the site, according to Wright.

"I don't know that we'll be able to catch the people who dumped the roofing nails at the blue hole, but if we do catch them we will bring charges," Wright said. "And I feel certain that any judge, when they look at what was done, will look to charge the maximum penalty the law allows.

"The sheriff's office and the DNR are looking into this matter because they have authority over the waterway. Certainly the pollution, littering and other activities are bad enough, but this is something else. We haven't had any reports of injuries yet, but you know what will happen. It won't be some drunk who's trashing the place who sticks one of those nails in his foot, it will be an innocent kid."

The Code Enforcement office has posted signs asking people not to swim around the blue hole until after the weekend cleanup effort.

Comments

jglass 2 years, 2 months ago

What is the mentality of these people who think littering is acceptable. I hope some how these people are caught.

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Cartman 2 years, 2 months ago

That is sick and senseless. I hope they catch the perp. Thanks to Jim Wright; Dale Richter Roofing; and Cook's Appliances for the clean up. Y'all are the best.

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

First I thought of people with nothing better to do, but got to wondering perhaps one of the property owners dumped the nails to deter people gathering there to swim.

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athens 2 years, 2 months ago

Maybe it was a land owner that dumped the nails?

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TheEnd 2 years, 2 months ago

After giving it some thought, "VSU" & "athens" may be on to something there. Many times the people that live along the river "assume" it belongs to them and don't want anyone around.

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

Thank you TheEnd, that was my thinking anyway when the story told of disgruntled property owners tired of the place trashed up. Thumbs up to waltspecht as well. I have heard about those stories of people poisoning dogs and cats to keep them from wondering in their yards.

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TheEnd 2 years, 2 months ago

I must say, I agree with both "VSU" and "athens". It does sound like a possibility. Many people that live along the river assume that the river is for their enjoyment only.

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

Probably someone that is tired of the mess and noise from the Party Animals that decend upon the Blue Hole. Ruins it for the people that are there to enjoy it, and those that live near by. People just don't have any respect for others anymore. Then the misguided one does something like this. Same type that would poison cats for walking on their cars and scratching the finish, or leaves out poisoned meat for dogs that mess their property. In their minds they have warned the perpetrators, but it hasn't done any good. So now they act. Wright said there has been drinking and drugs involved. I would look toward those that have filed a complaint, and felt nothing was done to correct the problem. Or one that actually approached the people and got mad with the results of their action. No, it wasn't an accident, it was done on purpose. Just like the roofing nails spread on certain dirt roads when the Residents get mad about night time runners and the Sheriff's lack of controling them. Hope they get caught, because it is mostly innocents that get caught up in these booby traps.

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