(05/25/2001)
A temporary diversion dam adjacent the new multi-million dollar Hughes River Dam project in Ritchie County did not give way, as reported to area media. Officials say the water released from the impoundment was not the result of dam failure.

The water was released as a precaution. Project engineers decided to remove a temporary earth and rock plug to relieve pressure on the incomplete structure, according to Paul Dunn, assistant state conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Continuos rains had caused the dam to back up, Dunn said.

Ritchie officials said a portion of the plug was dozed away, allowing for further erosion of the diversion dam. Some flooding occurred in the 13-mile stretch between North Bend State Park and the Town of Cairo. About thirty families had to seek shelter in low-lying areas, although minimal damage was reported.


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