Commission: Ruptured stop log likely to blame for High Point Lake Dam problem

September 16, 2018

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission believes it has discovered the cause of a partial dam failure at High Point Lake in Addison Township on Sept. 2.

“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 commission stated in a press release Thursday.

The commission said the discharge remains at manageable levels and water is exiting the dam as designed through the principal spillway outlet pipe. The dam itself has not been compromised and engineers remain confident there is no imminent danger to public safety, according to the commission. As a precaution, the dam remains under 24-hour surveillance by commission staff.

The commission is working to repair the dam, which will include using a diver to confirm the suspected cause and assist with repairs. To access the damaged area, water will be lowered daily with a goal of reducing the pool level by a minimum of 15 feet. To achieve that goal safely and efficiently, the commission is using one 6-inch pump and two 12-inch pumps provided by the Somerset and Westmoreland County emergency management agencies.

The drawdown is expected to take several weeks. People can still fish or boat on the lake, but the public is advised to remain at least 200 feet away from pumps and other equipment.

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