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Lake Wallenpaupack Dam Release Draws Crowd

PALMYRA TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Extensive rainfall forced an energy company in Wayne County to spill excess water from Lake Wallenpaupack on Saturday.

Water could be seen flowing straight from the Lake Wallenpaupack dam near Hawley.  Even in the rain, this water release drew a crowd at the lookout along Route 502.

“To see the spillway here, I have never seen it, so I wanted to check it out,” said Dennis Knapp of Honesdale.

People like Chuck Green, who has lived near the dam for a while, say this is something to see.

“It doesn’t happen very often. We have been here for almost 20 years and I never saw it start," Green said.

Brookfield Renewable is the energy company that owns the lake.  A company spokesman said it had to spill the lake water because a generator failed and the rain threatened to raise the water level in the lake.  The company said the spill protects people who live along the lake's shore.

Rob Fletcher took his son chase to see the dam open up for the first time since 2011.

“Family time spent time together to see cool things,” said Fletcher.

Viewer video shot from Ledges Hotel near Hawley shows just how fast the water was moving.  Downstream, a fox and a racoon were swept away by the rushing water, but they ended up on some rocks.  A larger crowd came to the bridge near the hotel to see the water channeled to the Lackawaxen River.

"Control the water level at the lake for the amount of rain that they get so if they get a lot of water they can store it in the lake by not having it full," said Green.

Because of unexpected changes, Brookfield Renewable wants people to be careful around Lake Wallenpaupack.  Officials at the energy company expect the controlled water spill will finish up by Monday.


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