Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hurricane Creek

Hurricane Creek is a free flowing creek in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. It forms from two smaller streams in Section 15
Township 20 South and Range 3 East just North of Vance,Alabama. After twisting its way some twenty five miles it enters the Black Warrior River in Section 3, Township 20 South and Range 9 West.
In some parts of the country the creek would be called a river since the volume of water it carries equals that of many small rivers. The area drained by the creek is in the lower reaches of the Appalachian Mountain chain and is very scenic. There are many twists, curves, falls, bluffs and rock formations along the creek.
Many of the people who have grown up in this area have also experienced these same occurrences in their lives.
The creek has been a recreation site and inspiration to generations who have enjoyed its secluded swimming areas and beaches. Many friendships and alliances have been made and strengthened along the clear flowing stream.
Access to the creek has been removed in many areas that were very popular in former times. Sadly, this became necessary for the protection of the creek itself. The area now known as Watson Bend at Holt, Alabama along the Holt- Peterson Road has been closed for many years because of garbage dumping by local residents. The bluffs and rock formations along the Keenes Mill Road has very limited access.
The Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation , known as PARA was able, with the help of Tuscaloosa County, to purchase the popular area crossed by Highway 216, the Old, Old Birmingham Highway.
Sadly PARA has sold a part of the land purchased to the State of Alabama Highway Department for a proposed road project that will possibly adversely affect a very wonderful section of the creek, known as the "M BEND"
A number of years ago a group known as The Friends of Hurricane Creek was formed with the stated intent of protecting the creek. Much of their work has been admirable, as they have monitored the water quality and looked for pollution sources.
The downside to their work is that many of them tend to see the creek as personal property, for their access only.
This then is another natural resource of the people and adjoining landowners that has become a political issue.
Gone are the days when families, courting couples, good ole boys and the general public enjoyed the beauty, quietness, solitude and joy of one of the areas favorite places.
The days when swimming pools were a rarity and “swimmin’ holes” were the thing, sadly are gone.
Hurricane Creek holds many memories, good and bad, for local people.
Families gather no more, courting is quite a different affair,
good ole boys sip their adult beverages in dimly lit sports bars and the general public for the most part have no idea what they have lost.
I hope a beautiful free flowing creek is in your memory, for the glory days of Hurricane Creek are no more.

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