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:
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 at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.
Sunday morning around 7:30am the Cary Lake Dam AKA Arcadia Lake Dam
failed. 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.
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.
- Sometime Sunday afternoon, Pine Tree Lake Dam failed (just below Windsor Lake).
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
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.
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.
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.
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