Residents May Return Home after Dam Leak

By: Mike Waterhouse Email
By: Mike Waterhouse Email
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UPDATE @ 3pm Monday: (AP) - Up to one-thousand Lincoln County residents forced to evacuate their houses because of an unstable earthen dam have been allowed to return home.

Emergency Services Director Allen Holder made the announcement Monday at about noon.

The evacuation was ordered yesterday after officials realized the face of the dam at Lee's Fishing Lake near Hamlin had slipped and a drainage pipe running through it had become clogged.

Water levels had been reduced more than four feet early Monday as crews pumped nearly 500-thousand gallons an hour out of the lake.

Hamlin Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joe Vincent says crews want to draw another five feet from the lake before attempting to breach the dam.

UPDATE @ 8:30am Monday: The OES director says the water behind the earthen dam has gone down 3 feet since they started pumping last night. The total height of the water wall is 30 feet. The director says the threat of a dam break has gone down, but an evacuation is still in place as a precautionary measure.

Here is the latest information from the National Weather Service:

The National Weather Service in Charleston has extended the flash flood warning for potential dam failure in Lincoln County until noon Monday.

At 8 o'clock Monday morning, Lincoln county officials say that Lee's Fishing Lake dam along Mahone Creek is still in danger of failure. That small stream drains into the Mud River near Hamlin.

Water levels on the lake are about 3 feet lower this morning compared to its peak level. However, the ground around the dam remains unstable.

The evacuations that affected several hundred people last night are still in effect this morning. Continue to obey instructions from your local lincoln county emergency officials.

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