200 people allowed back in homes near Speedwell Forge

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About 200 people living downstream of Speedwell Forge Lake in Lancaster County have been given the all-clear to return to their homes.

The evacuation order was lifted at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The residents Monday night were told to leave about 80 homes in low-lying areas along the Hammer Creek and Cocalico Creek in portions of Elizabeth, Warwick, Ephrata and West Earl townships.

The move was a precautionary step in case the dam failed at Speedwell Forge, a 106-acre state-owned lake in Elizabeth Township.

The dam spillway heaved and cracked last year as the result of flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and has not been repaired due to a lack of funds.

The lake had been drained, but there was concern the water would rise to a level that would put pressure on the dam.

Officials said Wednesday that the threat of a serious flood due to the dam no longer exists.

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