Friday, July 1, 2011

Cypress Creek Weir: Where Do We Go Now?

No one knows why Daniel Smith (pictured) and his friends decided to ignore the "Danger" signs posted along Cypress Creek. It may be that they had crossed the low-head dam before safely. It may have been a case of "youthful exuberance," as many call such actions. We do know Daniel S. Smith is reportedly the sixth person to drown at the weir since it was constructed in 1980.

We also know that removing the dam in not an option. Can it be retrofitted in some way that removes at least part of the danger? How can more boaters be encouraged to use the portage trail around the dam? We're reminded of the adage concerning the demarcation between bold and old pilots. Perhaps the same may be said for those who choose to navigate Cypress Creek.


News accounts have consistently listed Daniel Smith as the sixth victim of the Cypress Creek weir. If correct, that would be one drowning for each five years of its existence.

However, these accounts usually list only five names. If you know the name of the low-head dam's sixth victim, please forward it to us. Our sincerest sympathies to the families of all who have lost their lives to this "drowning machine."


For those who wish to encourage the City of Florence to retrofit the Cypress Creek weir, there is a new Facebook group dedicated to accomplishing just that: