Moore County residents below Woodlake dam allowed to return home

VASS, N.C. (WNCN) — Moore County roadways are all clear in a  flood zone and a mandatory evacuation order for areas below the Woodlake dam has expired, officials said on Sunday afternoon.

This decision was made after days of pumping water from the lake lowered water to a point where it is below gates to the damaged spillway, the Aberdeen Times reported.


“As a result of the lower lake levels, ongoing lake water activities, and current conditions of the spillway and the dam, it is our belief that the imminently dangerous conditions which caused the evacuation order to be issued by Moore County have been sufficiently mitigated,” Geosyntec, the engineering firm retained by Woodlake, said in a statement.

Bo Hodge, the principle engineer for Geosyntec said the company will perform an analysis of options and costs for repairing the dam and present them to officials of Woodlake.

The lake level is currently between 220 and 221 feet, Hodge said.

The company plans to  keep pumping water until that level is brought down to between 214 and 218 feet.

Julie Watson the General Manager and representative of Woodlake said the owners plan to repair the dam once they have complete information from the engineers.

Now that the flood zone below the dam is safe and residents are being allowed to return homes, Moore County Emergency Management will begin damage assessments of the homes in the area starting on Monday.

According to Moore County Public Safety Director Brian Phillips, there were approximately 118 homes evacuated under the mandatory evacuation order.

He was unable to provide an estimate on the number of homes that were damaged until after officials can conduct further assessments.

Moore County Sheriff Neil Godfrey stated that the roadblocks preventing people from traveling in the mandatory evacuation zone have been taken down.

However Godfrey said that law enforcement officers are maintaining an extra presence in the evacuation area.

The shelter that has been operating at the Ag Center in Carthage closed at 3 p.m.

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