UPDATE: Calhoun County dam water levels decrease, Old Sandy Run - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

UPDATE: Calhoun County dam water levels decrease, Old Sandy Run Road reopened

(Source: SCDOT) (Source: SCDOT)

The South Carolina Department of Transportation has decided to reopen Old Sandy Run Road in Calhoun County after the road was closed due to a possible dam breach. 

SCDOT was told by DHEC that the owner of the earthen dam near Old Sandy Run Road cleared debris which improved the flow of water through pipes leading to the spillway. This action caused the water levels in the dam to decrease about 30 percent. 

"Based on this new report, SCDOT engineers performed a safety inspection on Old Sandy Run Road. SCDOT will reopen Old Sandy Run Road at 5 p.m. Sunday," DOT said in a statement released on Twitter Sunday afternoon.

Shortly after midnight Saturday, SCDOT announced it would close Old Sandy Run Road near the fire station for the night. The decision to close the road for the entire weekend was announced Saturday afternoon.  SCDOT says pipes underneath the road are three-quarters full. If the dam breaches, engineers warn water could flood the road.

Officials say water levels at the dam have not dropped although some erosion of the outer layers of the earthen dam were detected. 

SCDOT worked with DHEC, Calhoun County Emergency Manager Bill Minikewiz and the National Weather Service to determine potential impacts. 

They say the dam is considered “low hazard,” meaning impact to roads is the greatest risk. They say they made the decision to close Old Sandy Run Road "out of an abundance of caution."

The release says: 

Possible dam breach that could ultimately impact Old Sandy Run Road (S-31) in Calhoun County (near the fire station).

SCDOT has pipes underneath the road that are currently about 3/4 full. If the dam is breached, water could overtop the road.

After discussing with DHEC, Calhoun County Emergency Manager Bill Minikewiz, and the National Weather Service, SCDOT is closing Old Sandy Run Road tonight.

This closure is being implemented out of an abundance of caution. DHEC considers the dams to be a low hazard, with the roads being the greatest risk.

National Weather Service is forecasting more rain sometime after midnight. They indicated flash floods were a possibility. This factored into our decision.

DHEC and DOT will be back on site Saturday to further asses the situation and take appropriate actions.

SCDOT is taking action to ensure the safety of motorists in the area.

There are more than 2,300 regulated dams in South Carolina, according to the DHEC website. 

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