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09/13/2018

UPDATE: HIGH POINT LAKE DAM SUSPECTED CAUSE, DRAWDOWN EFFORT

​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.

Throughout the 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.

The additional 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.

Nearby residents 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 employed.

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.

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Media Contact:

Mike Parker, Communications Director

717.705.7806, michparker@pa.gov​

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