Earthen Damn at Stafford Forge Burst

PancoastDrifter

Explorer
Dec 7, 2008
728
56
www.flickr.com
The culvert that drains one of the upper lakes at Stafford Forge has been clogged and half the dam had fallen away this past spring. The immediate response by the state was to pile earth up as barriers so people would not drive over the damn and they left it to slowly crumble over the summer. WHIRLPOOLS and natural drains have been draining the lake since that time and slowly eating away at the substructure of the earthen dam.

It was just a matter of time before it gave way and it did sometime over the weekend. The entire lake drained and the sedimentary deposits have buried 5-10 acres (hard to assess) of bogs/stream bed below. The sediment has also partially blocked the original stream and formed a new one parallel to the old one. Although this was the smallest of all the lakes, it had the most unique habitat aspect to it and was very protective for birds and otters etc. The main loss here is the habitat for amphibians as this particular lake was the most populous lake for turtles. I made a short VIDEO below the dam and posted some before and after shots. You can seen the sedimentation and the live trees that were swept away in the video. The location is HERE. I am sure it can be repaired and the lake will come back, just sad to see what could have been prevented and the habitat below the lake will take quite a while to recover.

Using this tree as a measuring stick you can see what I would call the normal lake level over the past few years.
watermark.php


This was taken November 7th of this year. Very high.
watermark.php


This was taken this morning.
watermark.php


The aftermath and profile of the earthen dam.
watermark.php


Note the water mark on the trees in the background.
watermark.php
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,837
2,128
Coastal NJ
I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for the state to fix it. I think a similar thing happened some time ago to the next dike downstream from that location, and it was never repaired.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,952
3,221
Pines; Bamber area
Damn...spelled dam wrong everywhere. LOL

That is too bad it won't get repaired because that linked up several paths to make different routes around the area.

Oh crap! That has a very rare plant in the corner of that area....up where there is a little savanna-like bog next to those sandy parking spots. I'm going to go check it out this weekend to see if they were destroyed.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,952
3,221
Pines; Bamber area
I saw the area today. The rare plants were under water until the lake drained. Being under water next spring would have been disastrous. So we have good and bad here. This is the bog that was under water.

IMG_4559_Medium_.JPG
 

PancoastDrifter

Explorer
Dec 7, 2008
728
56
www.flickr.com
So they were underwater because the culvert was not draining that lake.

I know how you were annotating those coordinates, but on lark I typed them into Google Earth as is, western China. ;-)
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,952
3,221
Pines; Bamber area
So they were underwater because the culvert was not draining that lake.

I know how you were annotating those coordinates, but on lark I typed them into Google Earth as is, western China. ;-)

Yeah, I guess I never understood or bothered to look into that minus 74 thing. I guess we are backwards from Greenwich and they are forward?
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,952
3,221
Pines; Bamber area
By the way, I looked at the whirlpool video. Is is mesmerizing. If you let your eyes move around the video in a circle watching the lines leading into the whirlpool it's really wild.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
24,538
6,800
So they were underwater because the culvert was not draining that lake.

I know how you were annotating those coordinates, but on lark I typed them into Google Earth as is, western China. ;-)

Yea, when you see 74 you need to use -74.

Guy
 
Top