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Study says to lower Chelsea Lake

Dam engineer analysis wants lake level lowered by foot from current level

“Get ready for pushback from property owners” was the advice from county forest administrator Jake Walcisak to the Taylor County Forestry and Recreation Committee at its December 7 meeting.
Walcisak told the committee the county had received the 100-year rainfall event report that was prepared as part of the Chelsea Lake dam replacement project. He said the analysis shows that in a 100-year rainfall event (6.18 inches over a 24 hour period), the lake would overflow the old beaver dam/rock pile dike by almost six inches. Walcisak said even at the lowest level of the lake last summer, a 100-year rainfall event would still have overflowed the dike, which has an elevation of 1,532 feet. He said two other low spots on the lake were a second dike and along Chelsea Avenue between Chelsea Lake and Little Chelsea Lake, both of which have an elevation of 1,533 feet.
Since the permit the county has for operating the dam does not allow for the discharge of water without authorization over the shoreline — either natural or man-made — of the lake, Walcisak said the project engineer recommended operating the lake at a true elevation of 1,531 feet, lower than what the lake level was maintained at last summer. This would allow for the 100-year rainfall event and still leave a cushion of approximately six inches before the dike would overflow.

See the full story in this week's issue of The Star News.

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