Tamaqua Reservoirs Renovated and Ready for Rain

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TAMAQUA -- Nature lovers are "hooting" about the reopening of the Owl Creek Dams and Reservoirs in Tamaqua.

On Saturday volunteers and local elected officials celebrated a major milestone in the the facility's rehabilitation. After decades of discussion and years of planning and construction, the dams have been renovated.

The older of the two dams dates back to the 1880's.

Time took its toll, and after authorities deemed the dams unsafe, the reservoirs had to be drained and funds had to be found at both the state and local level.

Micah Gursky, President of the Tamaqua borough council said,"I am so grateful that Tamaqua taxpayers approved the referendum and approved the borrowing of the money, so that we could pay for these dams, and I hope they come out and enjoy the resource that they helped to save."

He added, "Otherwise it would just be a big mud hole."

Now only one thing is missing.

The project won't be complete until the reservoirs are filled with up to 42 feet of water, something engineers said will take at least a few months.

"We just have to let mother nature run it's course," said project manager Jennifer Kowalonek. She explains that the fill has to be limited to a foot per day to prevent damage downstream.

Kathy Derr and her husband stopped by on Saturday with two brightly colored kayaks strapped to the roof of their car, but found that the water was not quite deep enough to explore. They said they are excited to have a place to paddle just minutes from their Tamaqua home.

"It's a beautiful area out here, really pretty, so we are glad that they decided to do something with it, because it has been sitting vacant for a long time," said Derr.

Marie Dotson of West Penn Township was out hiking with her husband Saturday.

" I think it is really nice that they restored it, I really like that they restored it, I would like to come back and try some cross-country skiing," said Dotson.