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Inspection Finds Erosion, Seepage In Dam
State officials are recommending a dam along the Green River be thoroughly assessed after an inspection this year revealed water seeping into the structure and concrete deteriorating in places.
The Turner Shoals Dam sits along Lake Adger and county officials estimate that if there was a breach, floodwaters could affect people and properties as far as 40 miles downstream.
The state catagorizes the dam "High Hazard" based on its location upstream from dozens of homes that could be potentially at risk.
The structure was built in the 1920s and, along with erosion over the years, the county's consulting engineer David Odom says the dam needs to be updated to come into compliance with earthquake and flood requirements that have become more strict in the last decades.
The dam generates electric power and Odom says it's fully functioning and working properly and right now there is no threat to nearby people or properties.
County Manager Marche Pittman says when the county acquired the property in 2008, expenses were anticipated and the county has already put aside $675,000 for dam maintenance.
But the assessment recommended by the state, combined with the charges of the repairs, could cost more than $1 million Pittman said.
When asked how big a risk the dam - in its current state - poses to the local residents, Pittman said that will only become clear after the complete assessment - including an underwater inspection - is finished.
Commissioners are said to vote on the company to be contracted to do the inspection September 9th.
By Ashlea Surles
Follow Ashlea on Twitter @AshleaSurles