And the problem is ?!

Old 08-12-2004, 07:53 AM
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Wink And the problem is ?!

Article in today's Charlotte Observer:
(sorry, i would have posted just the link, but you have to sign up to read it)

Naked boaters snarl I-77 traffic

When folks doff duds, drivers brake on I-77 crossing Lake Norman


Staff Writer

Lake Norman boaters gathered near Interstate 77 have found a way to stop traffic: baring all.

"They get right up to that riprap, and they take their clothes off," Iredell County sheriff's Deputy Phil Jones told the Lake Norman Marine Commission this week.

Boaters -- nude ones and those wearing bathing suits -- have attracted the attention of drivers in recent weeks, at times halting traffic at the causeway between Iredell and Mecklenburg counties and sparking complaints, Jones said.

On Interstate 77, which has a 65-mph speed limit, drivers get a good look at the water as they cross the causeway. There are rocks, also called riprap, where the water meets land at the bottom of the causeway.

Jones knows of three calls the sheriff's office has gotten complaining of flashers, and he has heard of at least one accident blamed on flashers.

Marine commissioner Mark Lancaster of Iredell County confirmed Jones' report. He said he was in the area setting up for the July 31 Lake Norman Raft-Up, when he heard the honking of tractor-trailers and saw stopped traffic. Then he saw three naked women in a boat near the causeway.

The raft-up drew more than 1,400 boaters who tied their vessels together to break their own world record.

Marine commission Chairman Randy Reece said the N.C. Highway Patrol had asked the commissioners to consider moving the Raft-Up to a less visible spot next year.

But marine commissioners and law enforcement said the traffic problem wasn't limited to the Raft-Up or naked people. Drivers reported a southbound traffic jam Sunday caused by drivers watching boaters on the lake.

"I've seen traffic jams looking at the sunset," Reece said.

Reece suggested the problem was created inadvertently when the N.C. Department of Transportation took down the causeway fence and started trimming the weeds and underbrush that once obscured views of the lake.

"I think the lake looks a lot better without that fence," he said. "I think that is what has caused this problem with DOT."

Boats gathering at the causeway are a fairly recent phenomenon, as boaters have had to leave Iredell County's Cocktail Cove.

The commission approved a new rafting safety ordinance last month after lakefront homeowners complained about the massive floating party in Cocktail Cove. Residents reported nudity, drunkenness and obnoxious behavior.

The new rules limit the number of boats that can raft together at certain distances from shore. They apply lakewide.

At least one boater told Deputy Jones she didn't think the causeway counted as shoreline for the purposes of the ordinance. The marine commissioners said it does.

Jones asked lake enforcement officers from other counties to help step up patrols in the area around the causeway. He already patrols the area frequently because boaters and personal watercraft like to "race" with the cars on the interstate, Jones said.

Officers have to see nudity to make an arrest, and the flashers are often gone by the time officers can arrive, Jones said.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: And the problem is ?!

The nerve of those boaters........... Hmmmmm, Lake Norman is only about 5hr tow for me.
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