COOLVILLE – A public meeting to discuss the impacts of the Corps of Engineers’ interim operating plan for the Tom Jenkins Dam will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in the Coolville Public Library.
According to a release from the Huntington District office the recently constructed mining tunnel beneath the upper end of Burr Oak Lake is being evaluated by the Corps for possible safety issues. Until the studies are completed, the dam’s interim operating plan calls for the project to no longer be managed for Ohio River flood risk reduction.
Managing Tom Jenkins Dam for flood risk reduction on the Hocking River will continue and local flood risk reduction will not be impacted. The release went on to say that the change will cause an increase of one half of one percent of the total flow, which equates to 0.1 feet increase at flood stage in the Ohio River at Belleville Locks and Dam on the Ohio River.
Ohio River flood risk reduction calls for Tom Jenkins Dam and others to store flood waters on occasions when the Ohio River is forecast to exceed 45 feet at Belleville Locks and Dam. The Ohio River has exceeded 45 feet at Belleville Locks and Dam only one time since Tom Jenkins Dam was constructed in 1950, it was reported.
Tom Jenkins Dam is a multipurpose water resource project. Its purpose is divided into two parts – local flood risk reduction and Ohio River flood risk reduction. Local flood risk reduction is for those communities on the Hocking River.
The Tom Jenkins Dam was completed as a flood control project on the East Branch of Sunday Creek in the Hocking River Valley. 63 years ago. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns 100 acres of land surrounding the dam which includes a portion of Burr Oak Lake in front of the dam, and makes sure no development occurs that could later be subject to flooding.
For more information regarding the Coolville meeting residents may call the Huntington District Public Affairs Office at 304-399-5353.