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Wood Lake Dam stabilized; no further evacuations planned, officials say

Posted October 10
Updated October 11

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— After the threat of a breach at the Wood Lake Dam forced a night of evacuations, Town of Spring Lake officials said on Tuesday morning that the dam has stabilized and no further evacuations are planned.

State dam inspectors and Moore County officials said a breach could cause as much as two to three feet of additional flooding for communities downstream from the dam. An assessment on Tuesday morning will determine what the current and future risks remain for downstream communities.

The town of Spring Lake announced an immediate evacuation just before 11 p.m. for all residents and business along the Lower Little River downstream from Woodlake Dam.

Evacuated areas include the Bragg Estates community on Vass Road, residents on West Manchester Road from the old Fort Bragg Water Treatment Plant to N.C. Highway 87 and the Riverside Mobile Home Park.

In Moore County, residents south of N.C. Highway 690 from Morrison Bridge Road to Riverbend Drive were advised to evacuate.

People in those areas were asked to leave as soon as possible and Spring Lake Fire and Police Departments began going door to door to inform residents and business owners of the evacuation.

A Spring Lake evacuation shelter was open at the Town of Spring Lake Recreation Center at 245 Ruth Street.

Woodlake Dam holds back about 10,000 acre-feet of water when its reservoir is at its peak.

Last year, Woodlake Dam was one of the largest high-hazard dams in the state to receive a poor rating from regulators. High hazard dams are those where loss of life is likely if the structure fails.

Last summer, state inspectors found cracks and "a void of unknown size" in the dam's concrete spillway as well as seepage along the dam's earthen slope. The dam's owner had to begin fixing the dam by Oct. 27 of last year, but a timetable for making repairs was never communicated to nearby homeowners.

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