HARRISBURG, Pa. (September 13) – The Pennsylvania
Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) continues to investigate the cause of a partial
failure which occurred on September 2 at High Point Lake Dam, located in
Addison Township, Somerset County.
past week, PFBC engineering staff has evaluated the design and construction of
the control tower and conducted underwater testing. It is with a high degree of
certainty that one or more wooden stop logs used to control outflow, have
ruptured, resulting in a heavier than normal discharge.
discharge remains at manageable levels and water is exiting the dam as designed
through the principal spillway outlet pipe. The overall structure of the dam
has not been compromised and engineers remain confident there is no imminent
danger to public safety. As a precaution, the dam remains under 24-hour surveillance
by PFBC staff. No additional problems have been detected.
should be advised that while recent heavy rains have resulted in high water
levels downstream of the dam in Glade Run, McClintock Run and the Casselman
River, those conditions are not a result of additional discharge from the dam.
The PFBC is
actively working to repair the dam, which will include utilizing a diver to confirm
the suspected cause and assist with repairs. To access the damaged area, drawdown
efforts at the lake will continue daily with a goal of reducing the pool level
by a minimum of 15 feet. To achieve that goal safely and efficiently, PFBC is
utilizing one 6-inch pump as well as two 12-inch pumps provided by the Somerset
and Westmoreland County Emergency Management Agencies. Additional pumps may be
Progress has been
impeded by recent rains, which have replenished the lake. Current pool level is
approximately 2-feet below normal. Required drawdown is expected to take
several more weeks. At this time, there are no restrictions on fishing or
boating on High Point Lake, though the public is advised to remain at least 200-feet
away from pumps and other equipment.
Throughout the process, PFBC
will continue to provide additional updates and report any safety concerns to Somerset
County EMA, which will issue an alert to residents.
Parker, Communications Director