Local News

After nearly 15 years, Hope Mills lake is full again

Posted January 31, 2018 5:47 p.m. EST
Updated January 31, 2018 6:25 p.m. EST

— Almost 15 years after the Hope Mills Dam failed, the beloved lake is once again filled with water.

Hope Mills received final approval from state regulators last week to impound water in Hope Mills Lake, and an official ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday.

Pacia Slade said it is a dream come true.

"It's like having your own childhood back, and it's cool to experience it with your own kids because we, my mom, used to do this with us too," Slade said. "So, it's cool to be able to do it with my own daughter."

The original dam was breached in 2003 by a major storm. The dam was rebuilt in 2008, but it failed two years later.

The town won a $9.4 million settlement against the company that built it, and the money has paid for a new dam.

"When I tell people how to get to my home, I don't have to tell them to go past the big hole. Now, we have a lake," said Winnie Golden, who has lived off the lake for 50 years.

Golden said the lake has been a centerpiece for Hope Mills and her family.

"I mean, my kids, when they were little, they used to come down here swimming," she said. "We used to come down for picnics. We had all of our celebrations here."

One of the happiest people in the crowd Wednesday was Hope Mill Mayor Jackie Warner.

"The piers were exposed, everything is perfect," she said. "The swimming area, there's actually a swimming area."