NC Environmental Officials Visit Woodlake Dam in Moore County

National Guard, state and local officials during stabilization effort at Woodlake Dam, Moore County, North Carolina. Source: Mike Rusher, NC DEQ.
National Guard, state and local officials during stabilization effort at Woodlake Dam, Moore County, North Carolina. Source: Mike Rusher, NC DEQ.

Released by Mike Rusher, ncdenr.gov

Top state environmental officials visited the Woodlake dam in Moore County on Wednesday, October 12, 2016, to evaluate safety conditions there. The dam was threatening to breach after two major storms over a 10-day period.

At the direction of Governor Pat McCrory, Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart of the state environmental department joined a dam safety team that has been onsite since Hurricane Matthew hit over the weekend.

“Governor McCrory has continually stressed the importance of protecting downstream residents from any threat resulting from structural failure,” said van der Vaart. “Our dam safety experts have been onsite at Woodlake continuously to help with the repair operation and we will commit all necessary resources until the dam no longer poses a risk to nearby homes.”

State officials reviewed stabilization efforts that include using pumps used to draw down water levels. More than 1,000 sandbags are being used to protect the dam from additional deterioration.

Once the emergency response to widespread flooding is complete, officials with the state environmental agency will carefully review all concerns about safety and needed repairs and determine any appropriate enforcement action.

NC DEQ staff, dam safety team, and Secretary Donald van der Vaart (middle) at Woodlake Dam, Moore County, North Carolina, on October 12, 2016. Source: Mike Rusher, NC DEQ.
NC DEQ staff, dam safety team, and Secretary Donald van der Vaart (middle) at Woodlake Dam, Moore County, North Carolina, on October 12, 2016. Source: Mike Rusher, NC DEQ.

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Moore County’s website is running emergency alerts at www.moorecountync.gov/emergency, including shelter information and updates on Woodlake dam.

The day after visiting Woodlake dam, October 13, 2016, the Governor visited locations feeling the impact of Hurricane Matthew and its after-effects including high river levels. He made stops in locations including Kinston NC, in advance of expected cresting of the Neuse River, and Princeville NC in Edgecombe County, heavily impacted by flooding. Flooding is expected in additional areas, including Goldsboro in Wayne County.

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Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.