Flooding closes Route 183; nearby Blue Marsh Lake releases water

Some lake recreation to resume Saturday; boating, swimming still off limits

Flooding closes Route 183; Blue Marsh Lake releases water

PENN TWP., Pa. - Minor flooding has closed a stretch of Route 183 in Berks County.

Runoff from this week's storm prompted authorities to close the road between Church and Heidelberg roads in Penn Township on Friday.

The heavy rains also caused the nearby Blue Marsh Lake to rise nearly 5-1/2 feet above its normal summer level as officials held back water in an effort to minimize flooding downstream, said John Cave, the Blue Marsh Lake park manager.

Officials determined Thursday night that the Schuylkill River could accept additional storm runoff, and dam operators began releasing water from the lake at 10 p.m.

"The current release of water from the dam is 2,500 cubic feet per second," Cave said. "While this is not a major release, it is a significant amount of water."

Despite the release of water, the level of the lake remains too high for the recreation areas to reopen Friday, Cave said.

The Dry Brooks day use area and the Church Road access will be open for activities on Saturday, however, swimming at the beach will be prohibited, said Cave, who advised that boat ramps may also not reopen before Monday, when the lake is expected to return to its normal level.

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