Work to repair the dam at Second Mill Pond that was damaged during the 1,000-year flood in 2015 is underway after more than two years of coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and …
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Work to repair the dam at Second Mill Pond that was damaged during the 1,000-year flood in 2015 is underway after more than two years of coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and contractors.
Repair work started in late January, but there is not a good time frame for when the work will be completed, said Gary Mixon, Sumter County administrator.
It could take a month to get new automatic spillway gates because they have to be custom built, he said. Sumter County Council approved an ordinance to amend the county’s 2017-18 budget to add the purchase of the $281,000 automatic spillway gates on Feb. 13.
Crews have completed the cleaning portion of the project, Mixon said, and are staging the property to better control the flow of water.
Flowable concrete, or fill, was poured onto the bottom of the spillway that runs under the bridge on Liberty Street, and large rocks are being placed to help direct the flow of the water, he said. Crews are also clearing trees, he said, and some grading work will also be done.
While the water levels are expected to return to normal, it may take a while for the environment to do the same.
“There are certainly some winners and losers,” said Josh Castleberry, Central Carolina Technical College Environmental and Natural Resources Department chairman.
Many of the larger fish and alligators have moved further back into the floodplain since the water has been drained while the smaller species of wildlife most likely stayed closer to the dam area, he said.
When the water level rises, he said, the original wildlife could return, or new species could begin to thrive in the absence of some of the dominating species.
Most of the fish could return to the pond through water flowing from Green Swamp — the primary feed into Second Mill Pond, Castleberry said.
Though the ecosystem has been altered, most of the wildlife and plants will return to normal, he said.
Ecosystems have changed, Castleberry said, and will change again.
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