Spillway intake structure fails at High Point Lake Dam in Pennsylvania

Part of the principal spillway intake structure at High Point Lake Dam failed suddenly the night of Sept. 2, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

A local resident reported to the Somerset County EMA that they heard a loud crash from within the dam, and a short time later heavy flows were observed discharging from the dam’s principal spillway outlet pipe.

The county EMA notified PFBC staff, who dispatched local law enforcement, maintenance and engineering staff to the dam for evaluation. They determined that part of the principal spillway intake structure had failed suddenly, resulting in a gradual drawdown of the reservoir expected to continue over the course of the next few weeks.

PFBC says that areas downstream of the lake remain below flood levels, and they will continue 24-hour surveillance of the dam until the situation is resolved.

High Point Lake Dam is 45 feet high and was constructed in 1965. It impounds a lake that is 37 feet deep, with an area of 300 acres.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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