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Bunn Lake Residents Vow to Rebuild their Waterfront

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BUNN LAKE — The state says 20 dams failed in eastern North Carolina during Hurricane Floyd; one of them is the Bunn Lake Dam just off Highway 64 East.

Bunn Lake was developed in the 1960s and is home to about 60 families. These families realize they have not suffered as their neighbors to the east have, but they do want to rebuild the lake they love so much.

"I went down about 8:00 in the morning and saw the first little break in it. And it just kinda grew as the day went along," explains long-time resident Patsy Perry of the lake's status last Thursday.

A week later, the view from the new Sky 5 shows the lake is nothing more than a brown sore on the landscape -- 120 acres of mud surrounded by what used to be lakeside homes.

"It was a sad feeling just to look out and see what our front yard looked liked now," says Perry, who has lived here 24 years.

For Perry and her neighbors, the loss of the dam is bittersweet.

"I think if the dam had not broken we might have had some homes that were flooded," she says.

Engineers have already checked the washed-out portion of the dam.

"They can also give us some estimates of what the construction costs will be and then we go forward from there," says resident Jack Hawke.

Replacement will require state approval and lots of money.

"We're not overly wealthy, but we will probably have to look at an assessment on each member of the association or homeowner," says Hawke.

Perry and Hawke say neighbors will pull together to refill their lake. Still, they know they are luckier than many.

"We have always had good harmony here at the lake and this is basically everybody's recreation," says Perry.

"When you see the way the people of North Carolina have suffered, we have very minor problems compared to that," says Hawke.

The Bunn Lake Homeowners Association is having a "Floyd" picnic this weekend and hopes to map plans for restoring Bunn Lake.

Jack Hawke says with some luck and the money to do it, the lake could be refilled by next summer.


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