LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. -- More than 200 Lake Norman waterfront property owners will be getting notices in the mail soon from Duke Energy telling them their docks or other lake structures need repair.
If repairs aren't made, property owners risk losing dock permitting privileges.
Overall, Duke Energy found 233 docks and other structures needing repairs out of 5,000 properties recently inspected in Lincoln and Catawba Counties. Officials say 300 to 400 problems were found out of 7,000 homes during inspections of Iredell and Mecklenburg County properties.
Duke Energy owns Lake Norman and is mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to keep the lake safe and accessible.
Dock debris is the last thing boater John Barker wants to experience on Lake Norman.
"Could hit one of those and become injured and damage your boat," he said.
Unfortunately, Barker says he's come close.
"I have swerved."
It's Dennis Whitaker's job to make sure that doesn't happen.
"We're looking for unsafe structures," Whitaker said during a boat tour of Lake Norman. He works for Duke Energy.
Whitaker showed us missing, collapsed and damaged docks, as well as docks and platforms needing more flotation.
"That's a problem and that homeowner will be notified. We've got a dock that has to be removed," Whitaker said while showing a badly damaged dock near a small cove in Lincoln County.
Nearby there is part of a sea wall missing.
"There's other debris caving in there so it needs to be replaced," Whitaker said.
If property owners do not repair it on their own, Duke Energy will take steps to get it done at the property owner's expense. Also, future requests for dock permits won't be considered if current problems aren't resolved.
"We'll go through three or four different letters asking the person, meet them on site, tell them what needs to be done," said Whitaker.
Duke Energy says nearly all property owners comply right away.
"These property owners know the value these docks add, so they're going to keep them in good shape," Whitaker said.
Duke Energy examines docks in Lake Norman every 8 to 10 years. They try to get the docks repaired within 30 days of the notices.