Sunbury, PA -- Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced emergency repairs to the Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam in Shikellamy will require lowering of the park lake in early September and shorten the summer boating season at the popular Susquehanna River impoundment.
"Timing of this necessary draw-down and repair project is beyond our control. We must lower the dam to allow access to one of seven inflatable bags that is not properly retaining air," Dunn said. "DCNR understands the importance and viability of Lake Augusta for Sunbury and surrounding river communities and remains steadfast in its commitment to return the lake to normal operations for the beginning of the 2020 boating season."
The secretary noted the department had been working throughout the summer to make temporary repairs and prolong lake boating as long as water levels remained adequate. Safety of boaters always was paramount, she said.
After high water in June, the park detected air pressure dropping in Bag 6. During three weeks of around-the-clock work and monitoring, park staff dedicated themselves to determine the issue and ultimately discovered several small punctures in the bag, as well as damage to the air piping system. Staff had successfully made temporary repairs to keep the dam inflated, maintaining the recreational pool for continued public boating and water access.
Despite commendable and successful efforts of park staff to date, Bag 6 must undergo a comprehensive inspection and maintenance to ensure longer-term stability, bureau officials said.
Emergency work will require full deflation of the Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam and drawdown of Lake Augusta for the latter portion of this season, which normally extends into early October. Barring unforeseen significant changes in river flows or bag conditions, dam deflation will begin Tuesday, September 3.
After deflation, maintenance personnel will prepare the worksite for inspection, evaluation and repair. Repair timeframe and extent of the damage will be determined after visual inspection and physical evaluation. DCNR anticipates work to be completed by mid-October, after which a full inspection of the dam will occur to prepare for the beginning of the 2020 boating season.
Shikellamy State Park Marina slip holders must remove boats by the end of the day Tuesday, September 3. Surrounding area boat and dock owners should also be aware that after September 3, the river will return to winter pool levels and boat launches and docks may become inaccessible. All other day use areas at Shikellamy State Park will remain open.
For details on Lake Augusta boating and mooring, telephone Shikellamy State Park: 570-998-5557.
For more information on Shikellamy and Pennsylvania's other 120 parks, call 1-888-PA-PARKS (727-2757) between 7:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Monday through Saturday; or visit the DCNR website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-705-2225;