"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Earlier this month, many who live along the Catawba River and the dammed-up reservoirs in the chain, experienced the worst flooding in a decade.
Now granted, our region, including the Catawba headwaters in the mountains, experienced a bout of very heavy rain, admittedly under-forecast by Duke Energy's meteorologists.
To make matters worse, the nearly 100-year-old Oxford Dam, which holds back Lake Hickory, failed to open for more than 3 hours, creating a potentially life-threatening situation for all who live downstream.
The dam was nearly topped and some have suggested it could have eventually been stressed to a point of actual failure.
In the meantime, a torrent of water rushed through the system with little warning, inundating many downriver.
A catastrophe was thankfully averted, but for some, clean-up is yet ongoing; the situation made worse by a snarl of red tape that delayed electricity being turned back on.
Now history has a way of repeating itself -- it's not a question of "if," but rather, "when."
Our region has experienced record rains in the past and will so again, perhaps even this hurricane season, which starts on June 1.
Duke Energy makes billions of dollars every year off the water that falls literally from the sky, but still, after more than 100 years, it struggles to manage the lakes it owns.
We deserve better than this.
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.
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