Residents brace for flooding

Paul Hutchings
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Plan to open doors of Deer Lakes’ main dam worries some

Residents will be eyeing water levels if Deer Lake Power opens at least one of the doors of the lake’s main dam this morning.

The main dam at Deer Lake. A decision was expected to be made today on whether to open one of the doors.

Last year, the doors had to be opened due to high levels in the Grand Lake, which resulted in various forms of flooding around the town.

Some homeowners reported water in their basements and Deer Lake’s beach disappeared under the excess water for more than a week.

Jim Moss, who lives on Nicholsville Road directly next door to the bridge that spans the Humber River, saw water creep up to his house last year when the dam’s doors were opened.

Fortunately the senior managed to escape costly damage, but his ice fishing shed and several other items had to be moved off his property and back after the flooding receded.

Moss said extra ice on the river and the lake may actually make the runoff less damaging.

“We haven’t had ice this thick in a long time,” he said.

“I won’t be using my smelt shack any time soon — it’s froze in on me.

“We have three feet of ice out there that’s breaking away from the shoreline. I think it might have (the most effect) from Reidville down, around Junction Brook maybe.”

Last year, a campsite on the lake was completely underwater and the levels were high up onto the overpass.

A previous walk along the beach trail found Gene Simms of Nicholsville Road surveying the levels.

Simms’ backyard borders the beach area and he said he’s particularly worried this year about what may happen.

“They’re doing this early this year, and they have all that ice out there,” Simms said.

“If enough water gets under that ice and pushes it up onto our

properties here, that’s going to be a major problem for a lot of us.”

People in other areas of the Humber Valley are keeping an eye on the situation as well.

Last year, high water levels brought several old barrels down a tributary from an old airfield site a few weeks after the main dam doors were opened.

Even in Reidville, some property owners near the river are watching the situation, the town’s clerk said.

Deer Lake town staff are keeping an eye on the situation and

urge people to use caution near water.

Officials from Deer Lake

Power could not be reached for comment.

The decision on whether to open the doors this morning is weather dependent.

The Western Star

Geographic location: Deer Lake, Nicholsville Road, Grand Lake Reidville Humber River Humber Valley Western Star

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