Cumberland County residents call empty pond an eyesore
Posted May 28, 2015
Godwin, N.C. — What was once a thriving Cumberland County lake filled with water and marine life is now an empty eyesore for nearby residents.
Rhodes Pond, a 461 acre lake in Godwin, was closed in June 2013 after heavy rainfall swept over the dam, said Erik Christofferson with the state Wildlife Resources Commission.
The agency drained the pond to prevent further damage to the spillway, but residents remain upset about the decision.
"What was the point in keeping it drained and killing off the wildlife?," said Myra Baker. "They were trying to make an improvement, but instead they made a problem."
Baker grew up around Rhodes Pond. Her father owned the land before the state purchased it.
"His goal was to see it preserved someday after he died," she said. "That was the family's goal - to see it preserved."
Wildlife officials said they had no choice. The dam was a century old, and the state's Dam Safety Division ordered the lake be emptied.
"The dam projects are the most difficult projects that we do," Christofferson said. "And because this project affected so many other landowners, it was difficult to thread that needle."
He said the dam's elevation has to be raised and could possibly flood private property upstream.
"We're very committed to filling that pond back up and repairing the dam like it should be," Christofferson said.
Rebuilding dams is time consuming, officials said, but Christofferson expects construction to begin "in the next few months."