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Repairs begin on northern Indiana reservoir's dam after stuck floodgate caused 2-foot drop


MONTICELLO, Indiana — Utility crews are working to make permanent repairs to a northern Indiana reservoir's dam following a malfunction that caused a more than 2-foot drop in the popular lake's water levels.

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. spokesman Nick Meyer said the water drop occurred when a floodgate on Lake Shafer's Norway Dam got stuck open after a roller track that allows the floodgate to move malfunctioned.

"So, kind of like your garage door, the ability for it to roll up and down along a track. There was a failure there," Meyer told WLFI-TV ( ).

The lake level dropped more than 2 feet before special equipment was brought in last weekend to temporarily close the floodgate, allowing water levels to return to normal.

Permanent repairs to the gate began Tuesday after scaffolding was erected at the site. Meyer said those repairs, which includes replacing some parts and testing the floodgate, should be complete by the end of the week.

White County Emergency Management Director Dean Mullens said that Tuesday that flows from the Norway Dam are now back to normal and "hopefully they'll stay that way."

The extra water that had flowed downstream from Lake Shafer along the Tippecanoe River helped boost water levels back to normal at Lake Freeman at nearby Monticello, a tourism-reliant community about 20 miles north of Lafayette.

Lake Freeman had fallen to about 19 inches below normal as NIPSCO complied with a federal mandate to release water from its Oakdale Dam to protect riverbeds with endangered mussels.

Information from: WLFI-TV,

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