EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – It has been a year since a camper of unknown origins appeared on a sandbar formed in the Ohio River, breaking apart downstream. The story drew national attention even drawing tourists to the riverfront.
“I thought it was pretty cool, pretty funny….Good idea…it made everyone smile, and there’s not a lot of things that make everyone smile around here,” says Cyntoria Lyndsay of Evansville.
But experts say to hold on.
The sandbar results from the annual dredging of the Ohio River by the US Army Corps of Engineers – a necessary step to keep barges moving through the area without difficulty.
In July, the Corps said that if similar objects were put on the sandbar this year, it would dredge the river in a different way without the sandbar forming. The Corps cites a potential threat to public safety, in addition to the river barge navigation and boating.
But for some people say they are not concerned about that possible safety threat.
“Last year, the camper was a good start, but I think maybe someone cooking some food out there or something that would be kind of funny. Like maybe a grill out there or something, I don’t know,” says Seth Cravens, a self-described sandbar enthusiast
Others even think that something different would be better.
“I like Halloween, so I think maybe a family of skeletons would be funny…. They could do a mini replica of Bally’s (Casino)- put Bally’s out there,” says Lyndsay.
Even though the Army Corps issued a stern warning against such actions, many still expect something could happen.
“I’ll be interested to see when they are finished to see the sandbar, and also see what if anything will be done this year – because I’m sure the people will be watching very closely to stop anybody from pulling those kinds of tricks. Time will tell, we’ll see what happens,” says Michael Nolan, a retiree who returned to Evansville for the summer.
Eyewitness News reached out today to the Army Corps of Engineers, but we have not heard back.