State environmental officials visit Woodlake dam in Moore County


Top state environmental officials visited the Woodlake dam in Moore County on Wednesday to evaluate safety conditions there. The dam was threatening to breach after two major storms over a 10-day period. At the direction of Governor Pat McCrory, Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart of the state environmental department joined a dam safety team that has been onsite since Hurricane Matthew hit over the weekend.

“Governor McCrory has continually stressed the importance of protecting downstream residents from any threat resulting from structural failure,” said van der Vaart. “Our dam safety experts have been onsite at Woodlake continuously to help with the repair operation and we will commit all necessary resources until the dam no longer poses a risk to nearby homes.”

State officials reviewed stabilization efforts that include using pumps used to draw down water levels. More than 1,000 sandbags are being used to protect the dam from additional deterioration.  Once the emergency response to widespread flooding is complete, officials with the state environmental agency will carefully review all concerns about safety and needed repairs and determine any appropriate enforcement action.