September 21, 2014

Medina
Rain
68°F

Officials say Osage Lake dam is stable for now

SHARON TWP. — Officials say the leaking dam on Osage Lake does not pose an immediate threat of bursting and a temporary fix is in the works.

Fire Chief Rob Haas said there is a hole in the side of a 3-foot-wide pipe that transports water from the lake, under Osage Trail and to a stream on the other side of the bank. The hole is causing water to leak from the pipe and erode the soil around the dam.

Osage Trail in Sharon Township on Sunday, where increased flooding has eroded the earth around a dam. Areas of Osage Trail and Boneta, Bear Swamp, Reimer and Wadsworth roads and state Route 57 were closed Sunday. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JENNIFER PIGNOLET)

Osage Trail in Sharon Township on Sunday, where increased flooding has eroded the earth around a dam. Areas of Osage Trail and Boneta, Bear Swamp, Reimer and Wadsworth roads and state Route 57 were closed Sunday. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JENNIFER PIGNOLET)

While the hole seems to have sealed itself off temporarily, Haas said repairs still need to be done before the problem gets worse.

Haas said the township has been aware of the problem for two weeks but recent rainfall has added stress to the dam and spurred the need for emergency action.

He said the last rainfall brought the water level of the lake up 6 feet.

On Monday, Haas met with contractors and the neighborhood homeowners association responsible for the fixes to discuss the best way to proceed.

The emergency fix will be to build a small dam in front of the existing pipes, drain the water from around the area, fix the hole in the pipe and remove the temporary dam, Haas said.

“We’re working on a proposal for a more permanent fix,” Haas said, adding it would involve relining the pipe with a high-density plastic.

He said he does not yet know how long the repairs will take, but a section of Osage Trail around the dam and Boneta Road from Fixler to Reimer roads will be closed indefinitely until the dam is fixed.

If the dam were to break, Haas said, water from the 31-foot-deep lake would rush into the ravine on the other side of the road and toward houses on Bear Swamp Road and state Route 57.

“The situation is stable at the moment,” Haas said. However, with weather forecasts indicating more rain this week, the township and the homeowners association will be monitoring the dam until it is fixed.

“It all depends on the next rain event,” Haas said. “This lake’s real prone to really dramatic swings; it’s even worse this time of the season.”

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.