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Rainy weather threatening Moore County dam

Tropical Storm Hanna and the chance of even more rain is threatening the dam at Crystal Lake.

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VASS, N.C. — Crystal Lake in Moore County dates from the 1830s, when there was a fancy resort on its shores. The lake exists today because of a concrete dam built in 1913, but Tropical Storm Hanna and the chance of even more rain threatens to erase its history.

"It was like a river just flowing right over the road,” Kim Von Canon, with Crystal Lake Support Inc., said.

Hanna caused water to spill over the dam at Crystal Lake, causing its flood gates to open. The dam held its ground against the storm, but a chunk of Camp Easter Road buckled.

"It is going to take a lot more than Hanna to take us out,” Canon said. "This is not a wealthy community, but everybody comes out to support it."

Federal inspectors are examining the dam for damage. If there is any, the community that lives around the lake will have to pay for repairs because the dam is on private property.

In another part of Moore County, Hanna's waters tore away a 10-foot-wide section of Autumn Drive on Saturday evening, stranding about 80 members of the Riverbend community.

"We didn't know how we were going to get anywhere,” Jack Sloan, with the Riverbend Homeowners Association, said.

The state Division of Forest Resources laid down a portable, temporary, log-mat bridge over the washed-out portion of the dirt road. However, foresters asked homeowners to take vehicles across it only during emergencies.

"The clock is ticking,” Sloan said.

The road is also private, owned by the association. It could cost more than $20,000 to fix permanently.

State Sen. Harris Blake, R-Moore, came to see the damage for himself. He said he hopes to convince the state to take over the road and help the community.

"There is a large number of people that are living that will have to cross that bridge to get to their house,” Blake said.

Meanwhile, residents say they worry that more flooding could be headed toward their homes – from an upstream dam strained by Hanna's rains.

Clouds, drizzle and light rain are possible on Thursday, with some stronger potential storms on Friday, WRAL Meteorologist Mike Maze said.


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