No decision made yet on reservoir water levelsMarch 8, 2019
By CANDY NEAL
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is still considering a request from communities downstream from the Patoka Lake Reservoir to release excess water from the reservoir now, before spring rains come and add more water.
“It is currently under review,” corps spokeswoman Katie Newton wrote to The Herald Thursday. “A final determination has not yet been made.”
Farmers, businesses and members of the community have appealed to the agency to release some of the water now. They are concerned about the excess water that has already filled the reservoir and is being held. They do not want a repeat of the flooding areas suffered in 2011.
Releasing some of that water now is better than having to deal with the massive amount of stored water along with spring rains.
“It’s already at a high level. If we get another rainy season and the lake is at a high level and they need to start releasing more, that is going to affect us,” Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner said. “So bring that level down now, before the farming season starts. You don’t want to bring it down when the farming season starts, because that will flood all the fields.”
Huntingburg is currently studying flooding issues and looking for solutions.
“There is a floodplain completely around our community,” Spinner said. “Part of the issue is how quickly water moves away from Huntingburg if we get it in the proper channel. Patoka River is one of those tributaries we dump into.”
Various creeks, like Hunley Creek and Ell Creek, on the north side of the city feed into the river.
“So if Patoka River is high, and we have a major rain event, it will affect us,” Spinner said. “The water from those creeks will back up.”
There is also more danger of Old Huntingburg Road flooding, which the road is prone to do already. “There are people who drive that road,” Spinner said. “So we just need to be aware of that.”
Local municipalities, along with county officials, area farmers and the Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have requested that more water be released now, which would deviate from the Corps’ standard water discharge methods. The manual for water control for reservoirs is under the U.S. Congress’ jurisdiction. The Corps is looking to get approval to allow for the temporary deviation from the manual.
As of now, everyone is waiting for an answer to the request.
More on DuboisCountyHerald.com
The journey of milk from cow to ice cream cone is a short one in Dubois County, and it’s a...
With a new comprehensive plan approved, City of Jasper officials, board members and employees...
When Ronaldo Diaz Rodriguez and his nephew, Yonluy Alejo Acosta, immigrated to the United...
Tracy Lorey, superintendent of the Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools, was put in the spotlight...
The walls of Lucille (Baker) Rudolph’s room at Jasper’s Northwood Retirement Community are...
Unintentionally, the Older Americans Center has become one of Dubois County’s best-kept...
Jasper attorney John Collins clocks in every day knowing he has the ability to make a...
After two years battling stage 4 colorectal cancer, Jasper resident Mary France died in her bed...