A dangerous situation is brewing in White Lake - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

A dangerous situation is brewing in White Lake

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A potentially serious situation is developing on Thursday evening for people in Marshall County.  The highway superintendent says he's concerned about one of the county's main roads, Highway 27 near Britton.  The reason?  A dam along White Lake that is in need of repairs and it's not just the highway that's in jeopardy.

Marshall County has had its fair share of weather lately with an F-0 tornado touching down just miles south of Britton two nights ago.  Sandy Dinger with the Marhsall County Highway Department says, "basically it's mother nature, we don't have any control of it."

But among the downed trees, washed out roadway and inches of rain, the potential for a catastrophic collapse of a local dam is looming.

Marshall County Highway Superintendent Butch Wilson says, "they said part of the top has blown off of it, or washed off from it, and there's supposedly a fairly good sized hole in roughly the center of the dam."

The White Lake Dam holds between 500 and 600 acres of water and used to be the towns drinking water that water is now falling over the dam's spillway at an excessive rate.  Wilson says, "I don't know what kind of water they're talking about coming over there or if that blows out, but it will definitely cause some damage to farmers' fields, county roads, township roads, which we absolutely don't need at this point."

About 100 yards from the spillway lies Highway 27, if the spillway did collapse and released unknown amounts of water into nearby farms and roads, it would be catastrophic.  Dinger says, "it's anybody's guess it all depends on how quickly it spreads, if it roars out into the channel for a while before it spreads out, ya know eventually it's gonna hit county roads, definitely a lot of townships, individuals that will be affected with it."

For now, White Lake remains closed to boaters, because of the threat to the spillway and trespassing into White Lake is a class 2 misdemeanor and could land you a 500 dollar fine, or worse, 30 days in jail.

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