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Warnings being placed at unmarked Neuse River falls

Signs should be in place on the banks and warning buoys in the water by Wednesday, an Army Corps spokeswoman said.

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SMITHFIELD, N.C. — Crews from the Army Corps of Engineers began the process of installing new warning devices Tuesday in response to an accident last week along the Neuse River in which a man broke his back while operating a Jet Ski.

Warning signs should be in place on the banks and warning buoys in the water by Wednesday, Army Corps spokeswoman Penny Schmidt said.

Kyle Corbett was seriously injured April 21 when his watercraft went over a hidden, unmarked waterfall at a small dam along the river.

Corbett, who says he is an experienced skier, said there was nothing to warn of the sudden drop and that the dam creates an optical illusion that the stretch of calm water continues.

Schmidt said the site has never been marked before because it is part of a flood-control canal and is not intended for navigation.

Army Corps engineers studied the site last fall and recommended a permanent repair project. Schmidt said engineers discussed adding warning signs at that time, but made no formal recommendations to do so

They are still waiting on federal funding to make the repairs.

Schmidt said Corbett's accident is the first reported at that dam, which was built 62 years ago.

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Mike Charbonneau, Reporter
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