Caspian High-water and Ice Damage

By John Schweizer

Shoreline flooding and ice damage particularly along the north and west shores of the Caspian Lake occurred again this winter. The damage was due mostly to the highest water levels in the past 20 years. On April 22, the water measured 29 inches above the spillway and breached the top of the concrete dam. At this point, GA’s Stew Arnold contacted Ben Green, the Vermont Dam Engineer. As the water was about to flow around the dam, Ben requested that the Hardwick Electric technician fully open the weir flood gate thus preventing a potential disaster. Both Peter Romans of the Greensboro Select Board and Nat Smith of the Hardwick Electric Board observed this episode.

The week following this episode, Ben Green, sent a letter to Hardwick Electric requesting that they conduct an engineering study to determine the condition of the dam and recommend any changes. The GA Lake Level Committee then requested that the Agency of Natural Resources, (ANR) which is responsible for the dam flow, and thus the lake water level, keep the weir flood gate partially open year-round until the study is completed and necessary changes are made to the dam.

Going forward, the GA Lake Committee will continue working with ANR and Hardwick Electric to collect data and make recommendations in order to adjust the dam outflow to meet our common goals of minimizing flooding and ice damage while protecting our beautiful lake and its ecosystem.

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