West Fork, Patoka, Monroe, Rough River lakes may reach record levels

Published April 25, 2011

Louisville -- Four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, lakes may reach record pool levels from expected rains through Thursday requiring releases from the emergency spillways for Rough River Lake, Ky.; Patoka and Monroe lakes, Ind., and West Fork Lake, Ohio.

The reservoirs are designed to hold a large capacity of water to limit damage from flooding. Because of the large amounts of runoff, these lakes are nearing storage capacity.  Once they reach that point, any additional water that comes into the lakes will flow out through the spillways. This is part of the original design to protect the dams against overtopping and issues from erosion.

“Basically, once our storage is used up, what comes in goes out,” said Jeff Esterle, dam safety program manager with the Corps. “We are monitoring the dams closely and currently have no concerns with the integrity of the dams related to this event. They are sound and functioning as designed.”
  
Residents downstream from these projects will see greater amounts of release through the spillways since the lake projects have gone into operation. This means stream levels may be impacted by the releases and increase the current levels below the dam. Lake projects have used emergency spillways before but not to these expected levels.

The spillway is designed to provide a safe path for the excess flows. Then, water from the spillway re-enters downstream of the dam. Water releases are managed by Corps’ hydrology and hydraulics departments in concert with other government agencies.

The Corps coordinates with local, state and other emergency management agencies and officials to share information on current condition at its reservoirs.

Lake levels and other information for Corps lakes can be found at this web address: http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/opto.

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Release no. 11-005

News Releases (Hidden - Presorted LRD list)

West Fork, Patoka, Monroe, Rough River lakes may reach record levels

Published April 25, 2011

Louisville -- Four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, lakes may reach record pool levels from expected rains through Thursday requiring releases from the emergency spillways for Rough River Lake, Ky.; Patoka and Monroe lakes, Ind., and West Fork Lake, Ohio.

The reservoirs are designed to hold a large capacity of water to limit damage from flooding. Because of the large amounts of runoff, these lakes are nearing storage capacity.  Once they reach that point, any additional water that comes into the lakes will flow out through the spillways. This is part of the original design to protect the dams against overtopping and issues from erosion.

“Basically, once our storage is used up, what comes in goes out,” said Jeff Esterle, dam safety program manager with the Corps. “We are monitoring the dams closely and currently have no concerns with the integrity of the dams related to this event. They are sound and functioning as designed.”
  
Residents downstream from these projects will see greater amounts of release through the spillways since the lake projects have gone into operation. This means stream levels may be impacted by the releases and increase the current levels below the dam. Lake projects have used emergency spillways before but not to these expected levels.

The spillway is designed to provide a safe path for the excess flows. Then, water from the spillway re-enters downstream of the dam. Water releases are managed by Corps’ hydrology and hydraulics departments in concert with other government agencies.

The Corps coordinates with local, state and other emergency management agencies and officials to share information on current condition at its reservoirs.

Lake levels and other information for Corps lakes can be found at this web address: http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/opto.

-30-


Release no. 11-005