U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
Public Affairs Office
1000 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4186
July 31, 2017
Release No. NR17-212
Contact: Jeff Hawk
ALERT: Corps warns mariners that buoys may not be in place due to recent high water
PITTSBURGH – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District is alerting mariners, anglers and other river users that warning buoys marking restricted areas at our navigation facilities may not be in place due to recent high water.
Several lock and dam operators, especially on the Monongahela River, have reported that buoys are off station after river levels and velocity increased during this weekend’s storm.
Lock crews are currently working to locate or reset buoys while bringing locks back into service after flood waters shut the locks down, especially on the Monongahela River, where 6 of 9 locks were out of operation.
All the locks have returned to operation expect for the Monongahela River’s Lock and Dam 3 at Elizabeth and Lock and Dam 4 at Charleroi. Those are expected to be back in service later today.
Levels are now returning to normal. However, the area’s rivers may remain elevated as the Army Corps’ system of 16 flood-damage, reduction reservoirs in the upper Ohio River Basin release water to create storage for future storm events.
Increased water levels can create hazardous conditions on the river. Mariners should be aware of accelerated currents and floating debris.
To check river and lake conditions, find navigation notices and charts, or learn more about how to stay safe on the area’s waterways and lakes, mariners and other river users can visit the Army Corps Pittsburgh District’s website at www.lrp.usace.army.mil
The Pittsburgh District’s system of multi-purpose reservoirs collect precipitation and runoff during storm events to reduce the risk of flooding to downstream communities and then release that stored water after the flood threat has passed. As of fiscal year 2016, this system of reservoirs has prevented an estimated $33.5 billion in flood damages. The reservoirs also provide augmented flows to offset pollutants and water for municipal supply, recreation, navigation and other purposes.
The Pittsburgh District’s 23 locks and dams on the upper Ohio, Monongahela and Allegheny rivers represent the oldest and largest network of navigation facilities in the Army Corps’ national inland marine transportation system.