Ohio to let Buckeye Lake rise to usable level amid dam work

MILLERSPORT, Ohio (AP) — Officials will let the water level rise in central Ohio’s Buckeye Lake after keeping it low for over a year as a precaution because of a deteriorated dam.

Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources said Thursday it will let the lake fill enough to accommodate boating and recreational activities this summer. That’s welcome news for area businesses that suffered as low water deterred visitors.

Buckeye Lake’s 4.1-mile earthen dam is nearly 180 years old. It’s been weakened by several hundred homes, docks and other structures built into it, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded the dam was at risk of failing.

Workers have constructed a stability berm along the water, and locals had hoped the lake level could be raised while the new dam structure is built by 2019.