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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

August 16, 2011

Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994


(11/P99) TRENTON - As part of the Christie Administration's commitment to the protection of public safety and property, the Department of Environmental Protection is preparing orders directing owners of 30 dams in four southern New Jersey counties to make repairs or conduct more detailed inspections following the weekend rainstorm that caused the failure of four dams in the region.

"The Christie Administration's priority is protection of property and public safety and helping these counties recover from this storm, which caused significant damage to dams and roads," said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. "We will work with owners in the four counties to make certain their dams are structurally sound."

Immediately following the storm, the DEP dispatched teams to visually inspect dams in Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties. Parts of this area received up to 11 inches of rain during the storm.

The teams have inspected 45 dams. In addition to the four dams that failed, the DEP's Bureau of Dam Safety and Flood Control determined that 20 more need mostly minor repairs and 10 additional dams should be inspected more thoroughly by their owners.

The Bureau of Dam Safety determined that two lakes need to be drained - Burnt Mill Pond in Vineland, Cumberland County, and Sunset Lake in Monroe, Gloucester County, due to concerns about the stability of the dams that impound them.

The Burnt Mill Pond sustained a partial breach in the earthen embankment next to its spillway. The Sunset Lake Dam did not breach, but a sinkhole developed at its base.

The four dams that failed were Sunset Lake Raceway Dam, along the Cohansey River in Bridgeton, Cumberland County; Seeley's Mill Pond Dam, along the Cohansey River in Upper Deerfield, Cumberland County; Centerton Lake Dam, along Muddy Run in Pittsgrove, Salem County; and Cushman Lake Dam, along Hospitality Branch in Folsom, Atlantic County.

The DEP expects to send the orders to each of the owners of the affected dams on Wednesday.



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Last Updated: August 15, 2011