It has been a disastrous few days. Never before have we seen this much rain falling in one storm event, up to 20 inches of rain in some places. The effects of this rain were devastating – leading to the loss of several lives and hundreds, if not thousands, of homes. Our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones in this terrible tragedy.
The conditions in the watershed are stabilizing and things are looking up. The information being reported about the lakes and dams has been shaky at best. Here is what we know for sure:
- Sometime Sunday morning around 7:30am the Cary Lake Dam AKA Arcadia Lake Dam failed. This was probably around the same time that Pine Tree Lake Dam failed (just below Windsor Lake). That surge of water rushed downstream, washing out Rockbridge Rd and overtopping the Spring Lake Dam. Forest Lake Dam and the Lake Katharine Dam were also overwhelmed and overtopped and that floodwater continued downstream along Gills Creek.
- Also Sunday morning the Semmes Lake Dam on Wildcat Creek (on Ft. Jackson) failed. This water came down Wildcat Creek which flows through Kings Grant and meets Gills Creek just below the Lake Katharine Dam near Shady Lane and Kilbourne.
- On Monday the Upper Rockyford Lake Dam failed sending excess water into Lower Rockyford Lake. Shortly thereafter the Lower Rockyford Lake Dam failed sending the excess water into Forest Lake. The Rockyford Lakes are much smaller than Forest Lake and by this time the Forest Lake level had dropped enough to buffer the excess water from Upper and Lower Rockyford.
- On Tuesday there were multiple FALSE reports from news outlets that the Windsor Lake Dam had failed. The Windsor Lake Dam is fine, as is the Upper Windsor Lake AKA Parliament Lake Dam.
- Beaver Dam (Boyd’s Pond) off of Polo Road is experiencing erosion and is at risk of failing. Crews worked all day Tuesday to stabilize the dam and dug an emergency “controlled breach” around the side of the dam to alleviate pressure and move more water downstream. As of Wednesday morning, the Beaver Dam is stable and not expected to fail.
- The Spring Lake Dam was heavily damaged during the storm. It is still holding water and as of Wednesday morning appears to be stable. The Spring Lake HOA is working to drop the lake level 6 to 12 inches per day (the maximum safe amount) until the lake has been mostly emptied.
- Lake Katharine Dam and Forest Lake Dam appear to be in good working order.
President Obama has declared Richland County a disaster area which means residents that were impacted by this storm are eligible for federal assistance. If you have experienced any sort of hardship or property damage as a result of the storm (flooding, tree falling, missed work, etc.) you need to file a claim atwww.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.
We are updating our Facebook page with accurate and timely information. Please like our Facebook page to get the latest updates and to see pictures from around the watershed.
This newsletter is only being sent to our membership and contact list so please help us spread the word by forwarding this email to everyone you know that’s been affected. If you are not on our mailing list please email Erich to be added to the mailing list. We will be sending periodic email updates as conditions change.
Executive Director, GCWA