POWHATAN, Va. (WRIC) — Families in Powhatan’s Red Lane subdivision are fighting to revive their community lake which dried up more than a year ago. Not only are they calling it an eyesore, they also claim it’s a hazard to their safety.
Teri and Scott Allanson walked 8News reporter Matthew McClellan through the remains of Lake Louise Tuesday. “It’s now just a crisp, crunchy field of overgrown grass,” T. Allanson told 8News.
In October 2015 the lake’s aging drain culvert gave way, emptying Lake Louise all at once.
Since learning the county was unable to cover the repair costs, the Allansons and their neighbors have one mission in mind: “To try and get our lake back,” T. Allanson said.
Billy Atkins has lived on the lake nearly all his life.
“We moved to Lake Louise when I was six,” he said. Now 51, Atkins remembers swimming, watching sunsets, and teaching his son to fish there. “My son caught at 10-pound largemouth bass at that pier down there,” he told 8News. “It was a highlight of my life, 27 inches long.”
Atkins said losing Lake Louise could mean losing more than just memories.
“I just view it as a safety hazard,” he said. “I have a nice sized house on the lake and I’m scared if it catches on fire.”
“Lake Louise is one of Powhatan County’s 72 dry hydrants, which are used by Powhatan county volunteer firefighters as a source of water when they need extra water to put out fires,” T. Allanson wrote on a GoFundMe page for lake repairs. “A pipe connected to the lake allows firefighters to quickly and easily draw water.”
Atkins said that if a house fire were to get out of control and firefighters did not have enough water to battle the flames, they would have to go back to another water source and refill.
“If any of our homes were to go up in flames for any reason, we don’t have a backup water source,” T. Allanson told 8News, pointing out that the closest water supplies to replace the lost dry hydrant are the domestic water supplied hydrant at 2660 Anderson Highway (3.2 miles) and the dry hydrant at 3225 Lee’s Landing Road (4.1 miles).
Neighbors have raised more than $6,000 for materials. With $12,000 to go before work can begin, T. Allanson said she believes Lake Louise will be back again soon.
“With just a little bit I think we can get there,” she told 8News.
The group has started a go fund me page. If you’d like to help the Red Lane community, click here.