Lake Stephens dam rehabilitation project underway

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Two contractors work with the county to rehabilitate the Lake Stephens dam to meet current regulations.

“Some of those adjustments are the crest of the dam needs to be higher, some weight protection on the lake side of the dam and then some work to the auxiliary spillway,” says Molly Williams, executive director of Raleigh County Parks and Recreation.

The project is still in its early stages after starting earlier this week.

“Right now, they’re clearing out the upgrade for the auxiliary spillway we’re going to put in,” said consultant Ryan Cox. “This channel will be designed to withstand the flooding event the DEP regulations require nowadays.”

When all is said and done, the project will cost about $368,000 and will close the boat launch area near the dam until the beginning of next year. The water level in the lake is expected to drop about eight feet.

“Our launches are only designed for a specific levels, so when the levels go down, the boat launch is out of the water too far for a boat to be able to launch out into the lake,” said Williams. “Our cabin will remain open as well as our campgrounds will remain open until the end of October as well as our pavilion for event rentals.”

If you live near the lake, officials say you may hear warning sirens and blasting shots next month during the drilling and blasting phase.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at