Dam concerns on Bear Lake in Oconee County


In northern Oconee County emergency workers have gained some ground on pumping water out of Bear Lake to avoid more flooding hazards in the area.

It’s happening in the Fiddler’s Cove neighborhood.

Bear Lake is about a 50 acre lake in Tamassee.

This all started shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon when a homeowner notified Oconee County Emergency Management Services of a potential problem with the drainage system supporting Bear Lake. 

A portable pump has been running since Thursday.

On Friday, workers managed to construct a large siphon made of PVC pipe which is now helping the situation as well. 

Through the pump and siphon water is being sent down stream into nearby Mud Creek.

Oconee County Emergency Management and DHEC were still on the scene as of 6:30 p.m. Friday night.

Emergency management workers now know the problem is the overflow and drainage pipe used to keep water from overflowing the earthen dam was not flowing properly..

Water had been rising in the lake but it appears they have figured out how to get the water levels to go down.

With this amount of flow, water in Mud Creek and Cheohee Creek could rise out of their banks in the location area.

Oconee County Emergency Management Director Scott Krein said no homes were at risk of flooding. 

“While the drainage problem at Bear Lake is causing a problem locally for those living within the neighborhood, we want to reassure those in the area that the creek crossings on Cheohee Valley Road and Tamassee Knob Road are the only areas where high water would be expected should a large amount of water be released. No homes are within the inundation area,” said Krein.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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