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High water damages dozens of homes on Lake Gaston

Posted July 12, 2013

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— Summer is often a time for sun seekers to use lake houses as a way to enjoy the outdoors, but dozens of homeowners on Lake Gaston could be faced with thousands of dollars in repairs because of damage caused by rising waters. 

The lake straddling the North Carolina-Virginia border has gotten significant rainfall in recent weeks, pushing water levels high enough to damage docks and bulkheads at several homes. 

Jack Houston, who has owned a home on Lake Gaston for 18 years, says the water level reached the top step of his docks and also washed away some of the stones that protect his property from the water. 

"It's been raining every day and the lake has been up above is normal capacity," Houston said. "We've got the irrigation pipes and everything else over there exposed."

One of Houston's neighbors has seen more severe damage. The homeowner told WRAL News the damage to the bulkhead at his home could cost as much as $12,000 to fix. 

Doug Hughes, with the Lake Gaston Association, has heard from as many as 40 homeowners about damage to docks or bulkheads from high water levels. 

"They're looking for answers," Hughes said. "We've not had sustained water levels this high since Hurricane Floyd."

Dominion Power, the company that controls the level of the lake, could provide some answers. A company spokesman said Dominion is doing its best to manage the level, but acknowledged there is a lot of water in the system. 

Despite that, an agreement allows Dominion to release water from Kerr Lake into Lake Gaston. The spokesman told WRAL News the company has operated within the parameters of its federal license in trying to control the water level. 

Hughes said the homeowners on Lake Gaston want to know more about how Dominion plans to prevent damage. The Lake Gaston Association will meet with Dominion Power in the coming weeks to discuss the problem. 

"They want to have some assurance that this is not going to be a continuing event," Hughes said.

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  • smi11er Jul 15, 2013

    Gee WRAL must have run out of new news. In spite of the way the story reads the high water occurred in April, May and June. Since mid June it has been at or below normal. The water is always higher in the spring by law to protect spawning fish. While this year it was higher then a spring normal it was still within the limits set by law. If people's docks were under water they where not built correctly.

  • BE Jul 15, 2013

    High water damages dozens of homes on Lake Gaston

    The story is about docks and bulkheads, NOT homes! WRAL is trying to make the news again, not report it. Poorly written headline.

  • fds4444 Jul 12, 2013

    Lake Gaston was built for flood control on the Roanoke River. They will release water for that purpose only and saving a few docks on the lake isn't too important. I imagine that its Kerr Lake that's in worse shape than Gaston.

  • beachboater Jul 12, 2013

    If they release too much water, they will flood downstream areas. So who has the higher position on the food chain?

    Remember the Neuse during / after Fran and Floyd.

  • oleguy Jul 12, 2013

    Help me out here,, They are saying more water is flowing than they can release,,, I thought they had spill ways at a height that would not pass a certain level,, or has some one built below the high water mark,,,

  • Wheelman Jul 12, 2013

    "They want to have some assurance that this is not going to be a continuing event," Hughes said."

    Well, I have serious doubts that they can give them any kind of assurance other than Mother Nature is going to do what it wants to do and the water has to go somewhere. These lakes were built to help control flooding, not to be a water playground for people. If you choose to build on the edge or it, then you take the risk that it's going to flood from time to time.