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Dredging begins Wednesday on river

Residents of and frequent visitors to the local river system will soon have better access to backwater areas long difficult to navigate thanks to deposits of silt and other debris.
The Army Corps of Engineers said dredge work would begin near river mile 230 on the Tombigbee River Wednesday and would work its way down to the Demopolis Lock and Dam before working back up the Warrior River.
“In all, there’s 44 sloughs on the list,” Park ranger Brandon Smith said. “The dredge boat will work it’s way through as many as it can, as long as funding will allow.”
Smith said there were a handful of priority spots, including public access and usage areas.
“It will mainly be opening up big backwater areas or stuff where we’ve got public use areas,” Smith said, “but we’ll accomplish as much as we can with the time and the funding we’ve got.”
Smith said his office fields approximately two calls per week in regards to dredging needs.
“The list was complied from complains from fishermen, people who live on the water and anybody who called the office with a problem, really,” Smith said. “Like anything, you have to have a set of priorities, but we’ll do our best to hit as many as we can, if not all of them.”
The dredge boat is expected to work seven days per week from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for three to four weeks.