Broken flood gate drops Shafer’s water level

WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Residents along Lake Shafer woke up to less water on the lake Friday morning because of a broken flood gate on the Norway Dam. NIPSCO officials said the water levels have been restored as of Friday evening.

Carroll County Emergency Management Director Dana Jeffries said the water level dropped about two feet Thursday night.

“Norway holds back water to maintain the levels of Lake Shafer. They can’t hold the water back and it’s flowing out faster than it’s coming in, so the lake is dropping,” said Jeffries.

Jeffries said he was alerted of the situation around 5 a.m. Friday. The broken flood gate on Norway Dam resulted in the Oakdale Dam ringing their flood sirens for those who live along the Tippecanoe River. He said the dam was releasing water out at a rate of 12,000 cubic feet per second, which is above the flood stage.

The flow rate through the dam decreased later that morning and the water levels on the river rose before they dropped.

“So, the water on the Tippecanoe River is either maintaining or starting to recede. I don’t anticipate anymore problems there unless we get more rain,” explained Jeffries.

Lake Shafer resident Vernon Miller found out his boat sitting on land Friday morning because the low water levels.

“I got a phone call telling me that my boat was stuck in mud,” said Miller. “So, I ran down here to find out it was totally all the way down and that the water receded back quite a ways.”

Miller said he wished he was warned of the situation because it could have caused damage to the dock holding the boat..

“Because if I wouldn’t have been here, my boat could have actually pulled the dock and everything away,” said Miller.

He said this has never happened before without warning. Miller said the water level went up a bit Friday afternoon, but he is still unable to take his boat out on the lake.

“My brother brought his grand-kids down from Wisconsin and hoping they could go out tubing [Friday] and unfortunately that’s not going to happen,” said Miller.

Crews worked on the dam for much of Friday. NIPSCO officials said they are still uncertain what caused the broken flood gate. They plan to investigate what caused the problem once the gate is closed.

As of Friday evening, NIPSCO officials told News 18 water levels have been restored on Lake Shafer.

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