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'Dry Dam' drained over the weekend

Pennsylvania American Water drained the dam, and now people who live nearby say they are shocked and heartbroken.

DALEVILLE, Pa. — In Covington Township, the Hollister Reservoir is a staple along Jubilee Road. Locals call it the Dry Dam, but from Skycam 16, you can see that nickname now has a whole new meaning.

"I seriously was crying on and off all day Saturday because of it. It was so heartbreaking," said Heather Tennant, Covington Township.

Countless folks driving by and stopping to take pictures agree; they are heartbroken that the dam near Daleville was drained over the weekend and now is nothing but mud.

"I would say the dam to the community is one of the most important things in this area. Not only for something to look at, but it's history," said Nathaniel Mccullough, Covington Township.

Pennsylvania American Water owns the property. According to a spokesperson for the company, the amount of investment to maintain proper requirements on dam structures no longer made it worth it for this one. The spokesperson says it is not a functioning or needed reservoir, so draining it is the first step, then the dam structure is expected to be removed by 2022.

In response, people who live nearby created a Facebook page called Close the gates, save the dam!

"Tons of wildlife here. This is an ecosystem that right now is destroyed. It's dry. It's bare," one woman from Covington Township told Newswatch 16.

"Now that you have the mud there, you can see the prints; you can see how actively it is used. The fish are gone. The food source is gone for everything that used it. The water is gone for the migratory birds the snow geese, the Canadian geese, the ducks," Mccullough added.

There are now more than 1,000 members in the Facebook group and hundreds of signatures on the petition.

"Someone has to step up; someone has to stand up for the wildlife; someone has to stand up for the ecosystem. It's not going to do it itself," Tennant said.

Pennsylvania American Water officials say over time, the dam will return to its natural environment, and that plants and trees will grow back. People who live in the area say they are not ready to give up and hope to see it donated to the state and turned into a lake.

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