Lake Manatee Dam in danger of breaking - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Lake Manatee Dam in danger of breaking

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MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Manatee County utilities workers just discovered some serious problems with the Lake Manatee dam.

On Thursday, a private consultant said the structure just east of I-75 is eroding, and could lead to a break if it's not fixed quickly. Then officials found erosion in the areas near the spillway gate at the 50-year-old dam.

They say after a large rain event, it could cause the dam to break.

Starting Tuesday, crews are going to carefully comb the area, looking for other abnormalities, and then they're going to start inserting concrete to help stabilize the ground.

Officials feel this is a serious issue that must be taken care of immediately.

Manatee County Water Treatment Plant Supervisor Bruce MacLeod said, "There would be a couple of consequences. This is our primary water supply so we could limp through but that would make it hard to lose that supply. And the other thing is it would flood certain areas downstream. And we're in the process of identifying what areas would be compromised." 

Manatee County notified the 18 property owners in the immediate areas of the spillway of the situation today. There are no special precautions for residents along the Manatee River at this time.

Officials estimate the cost for fixing the dam will run around $3 to $7 million.

They will begin work on Tuesday.

Officials say the critical areas should be repaired within 30 to 40 days, and the entire dam should be repaired within 70 days.

Officials say residents and property owners may register their contact information at www.mymanatee.org/alert   In the event of an emergency announcement the County will be able to reach those who are registered.

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