Empty lake drowns July 4th celebration

HOPE MILLS Earlier this month, water washed away underneath the dam because of a sink hole. Since then, engineers have been trying to determine the best way to fix it.

In the meantime, leaders have moved the July 4th festivities to the Municipal Ball Park on Rockfish Road.

For years, Hope Mills Lake has been the central gathering spot for the town's 4th of July celebration.

"There's nothing you can do about it, but I think everyone's handling it pretty well," Cumberland County resident Megan Bjazevich said. "But hopefully by next 4th of July it will be ready to have the celebration here again."

However, town leaders say it is highly unlikely that the water will be back in the by next 4th of July.

"I think it's a complete shame," Cumberland County Resident Gary Southerland said. "I am going to be really interested to see how they wind up fixing this problem, because was it an engineering problem? Was it the builder's problem?"

Engineers are still trying to figure out whether to make repairs or tear major portions of the dam down and start over again.

Eventually an eight foot fence will keep people away from the dam while repairs are made.

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