Repairs continue after dam on Piedmont lake bursts

Crews were working rapidly Thursday to make repairs after a dam on a privately owned lake broke early Thursday.

Piedmont Police Chief Scott Singer said the dam at Falcon Lake broke just after midnight, flooding an area with thousands of gallons of water.

Singer said the city’s fire chief, Andy Logan, was notified Wednesday afternoon that the dam was facing possible collapse. He had been working with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board throughout the day to try and shore the dam up, as well as attempting to reduce pressure.

Singer said a 30-foot section of the earthen dam gave way. Fortunately, the water flowed into Wolf Creek and followed into a channel that passes under Waterloo Road.

It emptied into an open field.

“No homes were damaged, but there was a sizeable amount of water that was in Falcon Lake that evacuated after the dam broke,” he said.

Singer could not give an estimate on the amount of water that drained from the lake, which covers several acres.

Singer said crews were working Thursday to close the break. There was no time-table to for completion of the project.

The police chief said he originally ordered that Waterloo Road be closed from County Line Road to Sara Road. However, because the water flowed into the channel, the road was reopened early Thursday.

“We were fortunately able to open those roads back up. The road is stable and traffic is moving normally,” he said.

The area where the lake is located is a private community near the Four Corners area of Oklahoma, Logan, Kingfisher and Canadian counties.

Singer said no one was evacuated because much of the area where the water flowed was open field.

“Repairing and refilling the lake will take some time,” he said.

The break came after the area received an estimated 6 inches of rain earlier this week. There is additional rain in the forecast this weekend, as well.

Earlier in the week, heavy rain and strong winds pelted much of Canadian County.

Don Robinson, Yukon’s emergency management director, said the only significant problem was flash-flooding that shut down State Highway 4 between Wilshire Boulevard and Wagner Road.

Robinson said the roadway was closed from about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to around midnight.

According to the Mesonet site in Yukon, the area received about 3½ inches of rain between 7 and 10 p.m.

“It was pretty bad,” said Robinson.

He said floodwaters were running across the highway in two locations — north of Wagner Road and just south of Wilshire Boulevard near Express Ranch.

Meanwhile, Robinson said two small tornadoes appeared to have touched down just east of the Kilpatrick Turnpike.

Robinson said each lasted less than 45 seconds and touched down in open fields.

In addition, there were wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph reported throughout the county.

“There was some light wind damage,” he said.

Brian Snow, who is the interim emergency manager for Canadian County, said other than the burst dam, there were no significant problems reported across the area.

“I’ve checked with the other emergency managers. There was no road damage or other significant damage,” he said. “Just a lot of rain.”

Snow said there were reports of more than 4 inches of rain in several areas of the county.

Early weather forecasts indicate that more rain could occur over the weekend.

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