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Boaters blocked by fallen tree in river

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 1, 2002

WEEKI WACHEE -- Boaters exploring the Weeki Wachee River Saturday found an unexpected obstacle in their path -- a fallen tree that blocked the river, forcing some to end their excursions early.

At the Weeki Wachee Marina, at least two boat rental customers were given refunds because they had to turn back shortly after beginning their trek up river, said James Lanier Jr., whose family runs the marina.

Lanier said he was told the tree fell about two bends in the river north of Rogers Park. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office, which dispatched some officers from its water unit to the area, said the fallen tree was near Waverly Road, just east of Rogers Park.

The fallen tree did not hinder canoeists and kayakers who entered the river at the Weeki Wachee Canoe Rental boat launch site, said Dave Lowerre, who owns the canoe rental business.

His customers were still able to travel downriver all the way to the Weeki Wachee Christian Camp, where they are picked up in a van for return to their cars.

At some points, the spring-fed Weeki Wachee is no wider than 15 feet.

A strong storm blew through Hernando County Friday night. Lanier, at the marina, said he suspects the storm could have brought down the tree.

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