Lake won’t be drained during flood gate repair

WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Water levels on Lake Shafer were back to normal Tuesday after dropping more than two feet late last week.

“Both flows are about 2,250 cubic feet per second,” said White County Emergency Management Director, Dean Mullens. “When we were into the lake level problems, we were down to about 500 cubic feet per second. So, things are good. Hopefully they’ll stay that way.”

Tuesday, NIPSCO Communications director Nick Meyer announced that a mechanical failure with a flood gate was to blame for the low levels.

“What we found was there was a mechanical failure on what’s called the roller track,” said Meyer. “So, kind of like your garage door, the ability for it to roll up and down along a track. There was a failure there.”

That means when crews went to close the gate, Meyer said it got stuck. He said it’s a malfunction that doesn’t happen very often.

“We really don’t see this type of thing occur, especially given the amount of inspections that we’re required to do on a regular basis,” said Meyer. “So, this is nothing that we had anticipated or even seen as an issue prior to this.”

Meyer said special equipment was brought in over the weekend to temporarily close the flood gate. He said permanent repairs to the gate began Tuesday.

“Scaffolding is being put in place to do the repair work. We’ll continue on with the replacement of certain parts of that to make sure it’s functioning properly,” said Meyer. “Really after that, they’ll be in a position to be back up and running again.”

Meyer said the repairs should be complete by the end of the week.

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