Accessibility links

Breaking News

Army Commander's Nicer Yard Blamed for South Carolina Dam Break

FILE - Floodwaters rush over a dam on Forest Lake in Columbia, South Carolina, Oct. 4, 2015.

Newly released documents suggest a commander at an Army base in South Carolina contributed to a dam break and massive flood because he wanted a lake higher so his yard would look nicer.

A deposition in a lawsuit obtained by The State newspaper suggests more concrete was put in the spillway of a Fort Jackson dam, increasing the lake level and reducing the amount of water that could flow out of Semmes Lake.

Fort Jackson Department of Public Works employee Matt Shealy's deposition doesn't name the commanding general.

The dam broke after about 24 inches (61 centimeters) of rain fell in October 2015. The deluge combined with other flooding to damage dozens of homes in neighboring Columbia and kill at least two people.

Fort Jackson hasn't responded to the deposition.