ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – (June 19) During the recent heavy rainfall events in the Des Moines River basin, Saylorville Lake’s and Lake Red Rock’s outflows were regulated to help reduce river levels and minimize flooding from Des Moines, Iowa, to Hannibal, Mo., on the Mississippi River. The operation of the Lakes prevented more than $11 million in additional flood damages to downstream areas.
Inflows to Saylorville Lake, located 11 miles north of Des Moines, Iowa, on the Des Moines River, peaked at 38,500 May 30, while the maximum outflow was held at 12,000 cfs. The storing of flood waters and reduced outflows lowered the Des Moines River level by approximately 7.5 feet at 2nd Avenue and 3.6 feet in Des Moines.
The operation of Saylorville Lake prevented more than $2.7 million in damages to areas downstream.
Inflows to Lake Red Rock, located 60 miles south of Des Moines, Iowa, on the Des Moines River peaked at 50,000 cfs May 30, while outflows were held at 22,000 cfs. The storing of flood waters and reduced outflows lowered the Des Moines River level by approximately 10.8 feet in Tracy, Iowa; 5.8 feet in Ottumwa, Iowa; and 5.1 feet in Keosauqua, Iowa; and more than two feet at both Quincy, Ill., and Hannibal, Mo., on the Mississippi River.
The operation of Lake Red Rock prevented more than $8.5 million in damages to areas downstream.
Saylorville Lake and Lake Red Rock were built and are maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, and are operated as multi-purpose reservoirs. The primary purpose authorized by Congress is flood prevention for areas below the reservoirs. Other purposes include recreation and conservation. Corps reservoirs also maintain a conservation summer pool to augment low flows during drought and an additional fall pool rise to accommodate migrating bird species.
For more information about Saylorville Lake and Lake Red Rock visit http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/About/Offices/EmergencyManagement/2013Flood/FloodForecastsataGlance/Reservoirs.aspx.