10 Investigates Inspects History Of Buckeye Lake Problems


Buckeye Lake faces an uncertain future as the Army Corps of Engineers fears the lake's dam could burst. One thing that was certain was the level of danger known for years by state experts.

Every five years, Ohio's Department of Natural Resources examines Buckeye Lake's Dam. The reports all seemed to have three things in common: State officials said the dam was damaged for years by home construction on the dam,  weakened by tree roots, and the dam itself experienced settlement as it shifted over its 177 year lifespan.

In the past 18 years, reports show concern about the dam grew.

A state inspection was due again this year. However, this time, the state did something different. They asked for federal help, calling in the Army Corps of Engineers. The last time the Corps inspected Buckeye Lake was in 1990.

Army engineers highlighted the outdated 1987 flood zone estimate, and they came up with a far different recommendation, drain Buckeye Lake. Army engineers tell 10 Investigates they didn't use any different techniques or equipment than the engineers who said the lake should remain full. It was that recommendation out of all the others that stands to change the way Ohioans live, work and play on Buckeye Lake.

What's still not clear is what was done by state officials to reduce the danger at Buckeye Dam after reading all these reports. Ohio's Department of Natural Resources was not available for comment today.


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