Groundbreaking Marks Start of Lake Delhi Dam Restoration

Thursday marked the start of a new beginning for Lake Delhi.

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A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site of what used to be the Lake Delhi dam. And it will be the dam again soon. Lake Delhi supporters and officials gathered to celebrate the beginning of the dam’s reconstruction and restoration of the lake. Lake Delhi Trustees President Steve Leonard has led the effort.

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Area legislators have played a big role in securing state funding for the rebuilding, though State Senator Dan Zumbach of Ryan says the credit should go to the Lake Delhi community.

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Former State Senator Tom Hancock of Epworth was among those who were standing on the dam when it breached on July 24th, 2010. Hancock remembers watching the floodwaters rip away trees and homes from the riverbanks and the rumbling sound of LP tanks rotating below in the dam.

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Delaware County Supervisor Jeff Madlom says the last four years have been a struggle, which makes this day even sweeter. Delaware County hosted numerous discussions and meetings in the years that followed the Lake Delhi disaster, with much controversy over who should pay for the dam’s restoration.

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And dozens of Lake Delhi residents braved the rain on Thursday to witness the start of a new era for their community. Kathy Ashbrenner has been a Lake Delhi resident for years.

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Ashbrenner’s family – and many others – are happy knowing they’ll be able to enjoy the lake again soon.

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Construction on Lake Delhi is expected to wrap up late this year, with the lake filled once again by next year.

(Photos by Janelle Tucker, KMCH)