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Repairs begin on Lake Manatee Dam | News

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Repairs begin on Lake Manatee Dam

Bradenton, Florida -- Emergency repairs are underway at the Lake Manatee Dam after crews noticed potentially compromised spots.

Crews are tackling the repair work now in order to keep those living along the Manatee River high and dry before rainy season begins.

Back on June 22, 2003, resident Mark Stukey, who's lived along the Manatee River for 40 years, witnessed the tragedy water can cause.

"Everything was floating," says Stukey after a stuck gate at the dam, compounded by rain, caused excessive flooding in the area.

More than a decade later, Stukey hopes he'll never have to witness such devastation again.

The dam's gates will be raised once again, this time to release water as engineers work to identify possible compromised spots at the 50-year-old dam.

"We did a supplemental inspection where we had to do some coring and we found some areas that we feel are compromised," says Bruce Macleod, supervisor of the water treatment plant.

Macleod says testing is going on now to figure out how big the areas are that may be compromised.

"We inspect dam every year. Looking back on some of the earlier investigations, there was maybe some indications some of this was going on. We're not sure. We're still putting that together," says Macleod.

Macleod says residents along the river shouldn't be too worried as emergency spillways are in place in case of a sudden rainfall.

Stukey says time will tell.

Right now, the water is just a few feet from the top of the banks and people along the river hopes it stays that way. They also hope the county knows what they're doing so history doesn't repeat itself.

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