Aiken County officials are warning those in the Langley and Midland Valley communities to be on alert after a leak was discovered in a dam holding back a 285-acre lake a few miles west of Aiken.
The Aiken County Sheriff’s Department said it was releasing water from Langley Pond as a precaution as engineers try to determine what caused the leak on the more than century-old dam.
Sheriff Michael Hunt said in a press conference that engineers do not think there is a risk of the dam failing, but they are warning those who live in the Horse Creek floodplain below to pack in case an emergency does develop.
“They should prepare. Go ahead and get some clothes together and your medications and things like that, so if we do have to evacuate, we can do it in an orderly fashion,” Hunt said Wednesday evening.
In the meantime, boaters are being told to stay off the lake and kayakers to stay out of the Horse Creek Water Trail below the dam.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is working with Aiken County engineers and emergency management officials.
Hunt said engineers discovered the leak on Monday after being notified by a passerby that day. He said another check on Wednesday found the problem had gotten worse.
County officials believe it will take about 3-5 days to draw down the lake the necessary five feet.