The citizens of Wilson and Wilson County should be provided written justification for the elected action of draining Lake Wilson for the purpose of dam inspection.
If draining were elected and approved because it was easy and cheap, perhaps “total cost and environmental impact of such action” should have considered near-term and current environmental conditions relative to lake inhabitants. Urgent dam inspection may have been warranted, but why elect and act upon the choice of physical draining — lake level change at the worst possible time — versus inspection by other means?
How can interpreted lake level be “….within about a foot of the spillway….” and “…within inches of its normal level..” on the same day?
Yes, 12 inches still contribute to a standard foot measure reference, but the political interpretation is a bit sad, almost like we can justify injuring our local habitat again by repeating the same cheap mistake. Negative environmental impact could have been completely avoided by utilizing current-day technology and other methods to achieve the same inspection goal.
Regarding failure of referenced two non-city dams — unique, but understood and different, causative factors contributed to failure in each dam. Inspection and penetrant testing could have prevented subject breach events but only if necessary repair (reinforcement) methods occurred months prior to additional stress cycle from heavy rainfall.
However, subject dams held in hurricanes Floyd in September 1999 and Fran in August and September 1996. As with all items in nature, stress cycle activities occur from many sources, contributing to “wear and tear” resulting in eventual fatigue unless corrective measures are implemented to restore endurance integrity.
We only have one environment with limited life. Prior to implementing any action we should review what we know and then we should elect and collectively agree upon the method that truly results in minimal negative environmental impact, because planet resources are not without limits.
Our planet, planet inhabitants and our one environment will respond with greater longevity for all.