USNWC rapids will not open as planned after brain-eating amoeba found in water last summer


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The U.S. National White Water Center rapids will not open this Saturday as planned for the 2017-18’ season, according to Program Manager Lisa Corbitt with the Mecklenburg County Environmental Health Department.

You may recall the rapids were shut down last summer after a brain eating amoeba was found in the water. The amoeba was said to be responsible for the death of an 18-year-old girl from Ohio.

Related: Officials: Ohio teen dies from brain-eating amoeba after visit to Whitewater Center

Corbitt said they received an application for the White Water Center’s white water systems operation permit about one week ago, on Thursday, February 23.

Watch news conference here: 

Related: U.S. National Whitewater Center resumes whitewater operations Wednesday

Corbitt said they’ve been reviewing USNWC’s application and have been in ongoing communication with them.

“They’ve been answering our questions as we go through this process,” Corbett said on Friday during a news conference.

Related: NC officials approve plan to release water at U.S. National Whitewater Center into Catawba River

Mecklenburg County Environmental Health said they’ve visited the site to see some of the new installations. The USNWC is still in the process of finalizing their new installation.

Corbitt said once USNWC completes the installation and once the Environmental Health Department completes the review of their application – officials will go out again and inspect the white water rapid system.

Once cleared, the Health Department will issue an operation permit for the rapids and the White Water Center may reopen the rapids to the public. 

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