Augusta dam needs repairs to keep city afloat - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Augusta dam needs repairs to keep city afloat

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Augusta (WQOW) - Rusted out holes, eroding soil, and a collapsed pipe are not what you want to find when you look at a dam.

At one dam in Eau Claire County that's exactly what you'll see.

It may just look like a big mound of dirt, but this mound of dirt keeps flood waters from going into the city of Augusta.

"We’ve had water running down the street, we've had it running into the post office, we've had it running everywhere but in the creek since the dams were in,” said Carl Aston with Augusta’s Plan Commission. “It would have been much worse had the dams not been here."

Johnson Dam was built in the 1970's to keep Johnson Creek from flooding the city but almost 40 years later the dam is showing its age.

"There’s no water coming out of the end of culvert and you can see it's pointing up that's because it's collapsed in the middle,“ said Anton. You can also see that there's water running under it through holes that have rusted. "

To make the necessary repairs the city had to take ownership of the dam from the county and contribute $20,000 to the repairs. Then the county would chip in $40,000.

"The situation isn’t going to be tolerable here much longer before it all just collapses," said Anton.

Bush's Beans donated $5,000 and Hi-Crush, a frac sand company, has donated machinery and labor.

"We knew we were in need of doing something,” said Anton. “There wasn't any doubt within the city it was just that it came down to money and if we could come up with the money we needed. We'd much rather own it and take care of it than not have it taken care of."

The city hopes to put in a new concrete pipe that will keep the dam functioning for many years to come. Construction is expected to begin this fall.

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