Fayetteville dam breach has neighborhood on alert

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Flooding fears in Cumberland County
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A neighborhood's residents are on alert as a dam becomes a potential danger.

FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) -- There's a growing concern among homeowners in Country Club Hills after the county alerted 40 homeowners of a potential risk of flooding because of a breached dam.

The Department of Environmental Equality Division of Dam Safety notified the County's Emergency Management Services on Friday night when the Gables Drive dam started to give way, causing gallons of water to overtop. The county then issued a CODEred to homeowners advising them of the potential threat.

Robert Miller, a father of three, says he immediately began packing his bags out of fear that the lake could end up in his backyard.

"We have three small children and my wife, so we packed enough for a couple of days"

County Emergency Management officials say a clogged drain pipe filled with storm debris is to blame for the breach. But officials say the drains had been clogged way ahead of Hurricane Matthew and that the additional debris from the storm escalated the problem.

"The Hurricane just made it worst. Filled the lake bed back up. Floated all the debris upstream and that's what caused these problems," said Tim Mitchell, Cumberland County Emergency Management.

The North Carolina Forestry Service loaned the county three water pumps that are removing 2,200 gallons of water a minute in efforts to lower the lake by a foot each day so that it will be easier for cleanup crews to remove the storm debris from the clogged pipe.

The draining process is expected to take about a week. However; the dam repair is the responsibility of the Country Club Hills Homeowner Association.

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