• Dam failure in Nassau County post-Irma

    By: Action News JAx , Danielle Avitable


    Gallery: Must-see photos of Irma damage in Jacksonville area

    Chopper video: Vilano Beach homes destroyed by Irma

    A dam in Nassau County collapsed during Hurricane Irma and sent water rushing into yards and even homes.

    Neighbors said they never thought the dam that was built less than 10 years ago would be compromised.

    Drone video sent to Action News Jax showed water rushing past where the Lake Hampton dam usually stood hours after it collapsed.

    "When the dam broke it really came in and filled everything up," neighbor Randy Wright said. 

    The dam was rebuilt in 2011 with federal grant money.

    Wright said about 6 feet of water flooded his yard and he gave us video of the water flowing onto his property once the dam broke.

    "You could probably have surfed on it," Wright said.

    Richard Bonner lives on the lake and said water slowly started to rise in his home.

    "It was like nothing I've experienced,” Bonner said. 

    Dean Woehrle said he oversaw the building of the dam.

    “None of us could believe it because it was over built, it was really built well," Woehrle said.

    He said there was more water in the lake than the system could handle.

    "The reason for the failure it was just inundated with 5 feet of water in a matter of hours," Woehrle said.

    Woehrle said they are going to have to inspect the dam before coming up with a solution for a new one.

    And residents said they haven’t dealt with flooding to this extent in years so there is no telling when it will recede. 

    Next Up: