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Public Invited to Speak Out, Provide Feedback Regarding Falls Lake Dam Release

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WAKE COUNTY — People living near the Falls Lake Dam are speaking out, trying to make sure the Army Corps of Engineers does not release water from the dam that could devastate their neighborhood.

The controversy is over when and how much water is released from the dam. The Corps says the water release is necessary, but people downstream do not agree.

People from Raleigh to Kinston say every time the Corps releases water, they end up with a flood of their own.

Grady Jeffreys says the deluge chews away the river bank along his 26 acres of land.

"We have extensive flooding that,over the years, has taken about a foot of our river bank every year. We are losing trees that are 18 to 24 inches in diameter along the river," he says.

Engineers are listening.

"We want to hear from anyone who lives along the Neuse River downstream of the Falls Dam who has had experience of what happens with the river after we make releases to control flood waters," says Penny Schmitt of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The public can speak out in a series of public meetings being held this week. Engineers want to hear from people affected as they review their water control management plan which they hope to have in place by next spring.

The public hearings are scheduled at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council chambers of the following cities:
  • Tuesday: Kinston
  • Wednesday: Goldsboro
  • Thursday: Smithfield
  • The Army Corps of Engineers has controlled the dam since 1983, but more people have moved into the Neuse River basin since then.

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    Todd Hauer, Reporter
    Adrienne Traxinger, Photographer
    Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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