Judge orders Woodlake Dam owners to disable the site

VASS, N.C. (WNCN) — The owners of a Moore County dam which caused flooding after Hurricane Matthew are now under a court order to permanently disable the site.

See more photos of Woodlake Dam
See more photos of Woodlake Dam

“I’ve lived there 11 years now and I’m highly skeptical anything will be done,” said nearby homeowner John Misiaszek.

In a court hearing Wednesday, where cameras were not allowed, a judge ordered the owners of the Woodlake Dam to punch a hole in it, so it cannot retain water and threaten downstream communities with flooding.

“This provides a mechanism to closely monitor the progress Woodlake is making,” said Bridget Munger, a spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.

After the floods created by Hurricane Mathew, the state ordered the lake, called Lake Surf, drained.

It was drained and now property owners in the gated community say it’s a mess.

“There are a couple of streams cutting through it but that’s all — it’s desolate. It looks like a desert,” Misiaszek said.


Some homeowners worry the corporation that owns the dam won’t have the money to do what was ordered.

“My hope is the corporation will go into chapter 7 and be sold to someone else to develop the place — save our community — save our property values and save our lake,” said homeowner Lou Mason.

Homeowners also say they formed a committee to work toward getting the dam rebuilt and filling the lake to the point where it can again support activities like pontoon boating.

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