When The Beacon, features an editorial on the front page, we know the story is serious! I appreciate the detail and factual information reported in The Beacon regarding Buckeye Lake’s earthen dam. However, other print and TV news sources seem to be missing the mark on the facts.
Eric Lyttle’s article ‘A Ticking Time Bomb’ in The Columbus Dispatch’s March 12 issue really hit me hard. Lyttle claims the Army Corps of Engineers’ report contains dozens of recommendations including a temporary fix of sandbagging and a permanent fix of draining the lake. The article includes a photo of the lake with the comment, “The safest solution for eliminating the risk of flooding due to dam failure is to drain the lake permanently,”
That’s like saying, “The safest solution for eliminating the risk of car accidents is to remove all cars permanently!” Did the Corps’ report really recommend to “drain the lake permanently?” Turns out…NO! So, is the lake actually “A Ticking Time Bomb?” Let’s remember … sensational headlines sell newspapers.
No one I’ve talked with can find those statements in the report. My brother, a retired government architectural engineer, who has worked on numerous projects with the Corps of Engineers also did a thorough review and found NO SUCH LANGUAGE recommending draining the lake permanently. Many are also questioning the statement regarding the “eight foot wall of water, mud and debris.” Residents can read the report at the local library.
It appears that much of the information provided to the public is unreliable and, irresponsible. Unfortunately, the issue of fixing the dam has been overshadowed by fear and panic created by the news media. I understand that previous engineering reports paid for by ODNR indicate the dam is safe. Since the current report has NO NEW ENGINEERING DATA – just additional photographs – how can ODNR or the news media claim there’s such an immediate danger?
Decisions should be made on fact, not unsubstantiated information.