Officials at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, have delayed reopening of the Dismal Swamp Canal until late October.
“Recent weather events have delayed progress, and the latest condition survey of Turners Cut showed that additional dredging was needed,” said Keith Lockwood, Norfolk District Operations Branch chief.
In August, the Norfolk District announced the canal would re-open at the end of September.
USACE closed the canal in October 2016 after Hurricane Matthew toppled more than 350 trees into the waterway, and sediment – washed into the canal from rain and flooding – created extensive shoaling along the 22 miles of the canal, the Deep Creek Channel and Turners Cut Channel. Since then, crews have cleared trees and dredged the canal, which, in places, was at a depth of 1 foot.
“In the history of the canal, we’ve never had this issue, and we’re using every available resource to make the canal safe again for vessels,” said Joel Scussel, Norfolk District Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway project manager.