Lake Delhi Closes Floodgates to Begin Refilling

Lake Delhi has waited six long years to see water again… and after two years of construction and four years of planning, it’s all up to Mother Nature now to fill the lake. Dozens of Lake Delhi supporters and local officials attended a special ceremony Friday afternoon to close the floodgates and allow the lake to refill.

Lake Delhi District President Steve Leonard says it’s unbelievable to finally be at this point.

The lake drained on July 24th, 2010, after historic rains caused a breach in the dam. Lake Delhi property owners formed a taxing district in the months that followed and then approved a six million dollar bond measure for the new dam and restoration, with the remaining ten million dollars coming from private donations, the state and Delaware County.

Groundbreaking on the project started in April 2014. Longtime Lake Delhi property owner and engineer Pat Colgan played a big role in the process. He tells KMCH the newly-reconstructed dam has four parts.

Lake Delhi residents are excited, but the lake’s return is also good news for the local economy. State Senator Dan Zumbach of Ryan says after the dam’s breach, they found out just how many businesses rely on the lake.

Delaware County Supervisor Shirley Helmrichs is excited, too.

Lake Delhi has some water in it already, but still has quite a ways to go before it fills to normal levels. Leonard says it could take three days to fill back up with water – or it could take three weeks. It all depends on how much rain falls and the flow of the river. But one thing is for sure – Lake Delhi will be ready to celebrate with a grand opening planned for Saturday, July 23rd and Sunday, July 24th.

(photos by Janelle Tucker, KMCH)