Dam breaks in Moore County

This picture from Chopper 11 HD shows dam collapse around spillway. (Chopper 11 HD)

April 25, 2011 3:46:06 PM PDT
Emergency management officials issued a flash flood warning for anyone downstream of the Carolina Lake Dam near Herds Creek in Moore and Lee counties Monday.

The dam is located in the Carolina Lakes subdivision near Cameron in eastern Moore County.

Local officials said a 10 to 12 foot wide breach developed along a spillway pipe and most of the water in the lake drained out, sending 15 acres of water downstream.

Officials from North Carolina Dam Safety, North Carolina Water Quality and local emergency management were on the scene. Officials said areas affected were primarily forest land south and east of the dam.

"We originally issued a Flash Flood Warning because this does cross the road a couple of times during the spillway here, but we've monitored that and it's not got up into the roads or anything so we discontinued the flood warning," said Scott Brook, Moore County Emergency Management. "There's catfish in here and bass and just regular bream and stuff."

Charles Sutton, with the community's home owners association, says the lake was a gathering spot for boating and fishing. Sutton says about ten years ago, they had another problem with the spillway, which made them lower the lake's water level.

"Had a problem with a stump, got hung up in there where the water gets lowered at, and we had to take and get a diver to get the stump out," Sutton said. "And the flow was over then but didn't never have this problem before with the dam breaking the way it did now."

The earthen dam is on private property and is not state owned. The big question now is who's going to pay for repairs?

"We'll have to all get together as a group like people do and try to talk it over and figure out what we're going to do," Sutton said.

Fortunately the earthen dam is not the main roadway for people who live on the other side of the lake.

Other potential locations affected include the following: Herds Creek, Lake Rest Lane, Carolina Lakes Road, Heavenwood Road, Lamms Grove Road, and Baywood Lane.

Emergency workers aren't allowing anyone drives across the drive, and it's unclear if the home owner's association has the financial ability to pay for repairs.

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