The demolition of Bloede Dam finally got under way Tuesday, as explosives blew a hole in the long-dormant hydroelectric facility blocking the Patapsco River west of Baltimore.
Kiewit, the Nebraska-based contractor handling the removal of the state-owned dam, had been waiting for the river’s rain-swollen flow to subside before triggering the blast to make it easier for heavy equipment to work in the channel.
But Hurricane Florence’s imminent East Coast landfall prompted a decision to get on with it, according to Amy Kober, spokeswoman for the nonprofit conservation group American Rivers.
The yearlong preparatory work for the dam’s demolition already had suffered disruptions and delay earlier this year because of severe flash flooding on Memorial Day weekend. Now, there’s a chance the tropical storm expected to hit the Carolinas later this week could produce more heavy rain and potentially disruptive flooding in central Maryland.