Officials: Flooding possible during controlled dam breach at Md. lake

HAMPSTEAD, Md. (AP) — Officials in Maryland have begun excavating a lake and are asking area residents to be vigilant as the process is underway.

The controlled breach of a dam at Cascade lake near Hampstead started Monday and may take several days to complete, according to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. The dam was pushed to capacity by heavy rains.

Crews are excavating the dam down to stages that coincide with the current water level, pumping down the water and removing the dam.

There is a risk of dam failure during the excavation process because of the previous damage from flooding. If an uncontrolled breach occurs and the dam fails, areas downstream of Cascade Lake near the Tributary of the East Branch of the Patapsco River should prepare for flooding.

Road closures may ensue.

Numerous roads around the lake remain closed including:

  • Snydersburg Road between Cape Horn Road and Hampstead
  • Mexico Road (Maryland Route 482)

Carroll County Sheriff’s Office also warns that the following roads may be closed, if necessary:

    • Brodbeck Road by Walmart
    • Brillhart Road and Maryland Route 482
    • Brodbeck Road and Schaeffer Drive
    • Maryland Route 482 and North Brook
    • Shiloh Road and Brodbeck Road
    • Cape Horn Road and Brillhart Road
    • Harvey Gummel Road and North Cape Horn Road
    • Maryland Route 30 – Bypass and Maryland Route 482

Workers were removing water from the lake Sunday to reach levels where the dam can be breached safely.

Heavy rainfall Friday pushed water levels to maximum capacity at the lake for the second time in as many months. Water flowed through an emergency spillway.

Last month county and state officials began draining the lake and canceled most activities on the water.

The lake is about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of Baltimore.

WTOP’s Jennifer Ortiz and Nahal Amouzadeh contributed to this report.

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