By Sherry Gros

Freelance Writer for HIghland Park Mobile AL


Highland Park Community Association would like to thank Avalisha Fisher and Michael Catrett of Driven Engineering, Semmes Alabama for providing us with our Dam Safety Site Inspection for the year 2021.

Below is a scanned image of the site inspection at Optimist Dam in Mobile, AL.

Based on the conclusions of this report along with supporting opinions from the most respected and well known earthen dam civil engineers in the Mobile area, the statement below is issued to the public at large by Sherry Gros, President of HPca, for their perusal.

“DANGER STAY OFF THE DAM AT OPTIMIST LAKE I just got off the phone with HPca civil engineer, Avalisha Fisher of Driven Engineering. It is imperative that EVERYONE understand and take to heart the warning of Avalish Fisher of Driven Engineering that the dam is not safe at this time. Believe her when she says patching will not repair anything at this point. There are too many holes in the earthen dam. When it comes down it will come down without warning maybe with someone on it. Patching the dam gives the public a false sense of security. HPca is fighting an adversarial element giving false public information. Do not let false information lead you into harms way! Please for your own safety and the safety of your loved ones STAY OFF THE DAM. Sherry Lynn Gros, President, Highland Park Community Association, Inc.”

Per the 2020 HPca Lake Management Plan it is the intention of this Board of Directors to have an annual Dam Safety Inspection from now on going forward.

HPca 2020 Emergency Action Plan (EAP) was implemented at the last breach in June 2021 by the Board of Directors.

3 thoughts on “2021 Dam Safety Site Inspection

  1. After sherry’s initial post regarding this issue (Arthur’s acct) I had a conversation with Ms Fisher today. I know Mrs Gros wants you to think that the dam is going to collapse at any moment, that is not what the report from Driven Eng. says and it is not what Avalisha meant. Read it for yourself. She says it is not safe to put water back in the lake without a complete repair. Doing so could result in a complete failure of the dam. The BOD agrees with her assessment and do not plan to refill the lake until such time that we can complete repairs. With that said, due to the damage to the down stream Side of the dam we would request that you stay off the dam until the repairs are complete. We are planning a virtual community meeting this Saturday. Details will be sent via separate communications. In the meantime, if you have any questions give me a call. Ed 251.455.9415.

  2. Going forward you and your BOD need to be very careful how you characterize me personally and the HPca. ~Sherry Gros
    What does “…poses an immediate safety risk to anyone who ventures out onto it…” mean to you? I am not an hysteric. I am thoughtful and analytical. Your plan, you said, was to get the lake filled as soon as you patched it. I’m sorry you are at a loss what to do next. There is nothing to do but come up with the money to rebuild the dam. I’m sending out a grant packet tomorrow. Your rat patching will no longer work. The empty lake is where you have brought us. You need to stop inflaming the public and causing riot and outburst toward me over what is simply getting the money to rebuild the dam. Unless your plan is to ask everyone around the lake to pony up half a million dollars to rebuild it themselves I suggest you champion my efforts. I don’t see what it matters at this point if you fill the lake or not, the dam is irreperable. However, the responsible thing for me to do was to release the report for public consumption so they could make up their own minds regarding the issue.

  3. Can’t champion something we do not know the details of. I’ll make sure you have the link to the meeting Saturday that way you can call in and brief the neighborhood on the details of the grant package that you submit. By the way why don’t you just post it here so everyone is aware of what you are doing. Glad you finally posted the site visit letter from Design Engineering and for the record the BOD has never promoted anyone fishing or doing any other recreational activities on the dam. That’s what the parks are for. So yes for everyone’s safety, unless you are actively doing maintenance or operating in an official capacity please stay off the dam.

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