2-week delay in Big Bay dam hearing

The Department of Environmental Quality has postponed a public hearing sought by nearly two dozen residents who live downstream from the collapsed Big Bay Lake dam.

The hearing was originally scheduled to take place in Jackson Monday and Tuesday, but DEQ postponed it until September 24 and 25.

Nearly 24 residents who were flooded by the dam break in March 2004 are asking DEQ to reconsider allowing the dam to be rebuilt.

DEQ approved the rebuilding permit in May, and in mid-June developer Chip Tatum started the rebuilding process.

Nearly 100 homes downstream from the residential development were flooded or destroyed when the original dam broke, unleashing a 7-billion-gallon torrent of water downstream.