County Executive Ted Rumley reported during the June 18 weekly COVID-19 update that the Lookout Mountain Dam is finally being addressed after safety concerns arose over 15 years ago.
Rumley said in 2004, rain caused heavy flooding at the dam and surrounding areas that received state-wide media attention. The dam was classified as a category 1 – or dangerous – dam and needed to be addressed because of liability issues.
Rumley said there were several options to improve the dam such as making a new dam that would cost upwards of $2 million or allowing water to pass through the dam without harming aquatic life. However, Rumley said the best option was to lower the dam to category 2 size. This would make the dam the equivalent of a farm dam, which is considerably less life threatening.
“It’s something that’s got to be done,” Rumley said. “If it were to bust, that body of water would travel all the way through Cloudland Canyon, all the way through the falls and all the way down to where the Canyon Estates [are] at.”
Formal plans were submitted around the beginning of 2007 and were only just given the green light late last year. However, Rumley said that the original company that was reviewing the plans had gone out of business and a new company stepped in to review the plans. Fawn Dawn Road will be closed for up to two months in July when the work begins.