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Posted 9/7/2018

Release no. 18-037

Jeffrey S. Hawk
412.713.4626 (cell)
1000 Liberty Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4186

PITTSBURGH – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District is informing the public that its flood risk management reservoirs in the Mahoning River Valley are positioned to receive the heavy precipitation forecasted this weekend by the National Weather Service.

The weather service is forecasting three to five inches of rain through Sunday, Sept. 9 with the heaviest rain projected to fall in the Mahoning River Basin. 

The Corps’ three multi-purpose reservoirs in northeast Ohio have nearly 100 percent of their flood storage available to help capture runoff from the incoming storm.

Currently, Berlin Lake, in Deerfield, is positioned to receive up to 4.2 inches of runoff; Michael J. Kirwan Dam and Reservoir, in Wayland, is positioned to receive up to 6.6 inches of runoff; and, Mosquito Creek Lake, in Cortland, is position to receive up to 6.3 inches of runoff.

The Corps’ remaining 13 reservoirs in the upper Ohio River Basin are also prepared to help capture the anticipated runoff and precipitation behind its dams. 

“We are ready to help reduce any potential flooding downstream of our reservoirs,” said Col. Andrew (Coby) Short, commander, Pittsburgh District. “I urge residents to be aware that forecasts can change quickly and to monitor the local weather reports. Please be aware that uncontrolled streams and tributaries downstream of our dams and in other areas may swell and cause localized flooding.”

Col. Short stated that the district will continue to monitor the forecast to ensure the reservoirs are prepared to react to any possible changes.

When a storm approaches, the Corps keeps space in its 16 reservoirs to capture up to 33 percent of the precipitation and runoff that falls within the upper Ohio River Basin. To date, these reservoirs have prevented nearly $36 billion in flood damages across the basin. Mosquito, Kirwan and Berlin lakes, combined, have prevented $8.6 billion in flood damages.

For more information about flood preparedness visit: https://www.lrp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Emergency-Management/Flood-Preparedness/.

For water management information including daily reservoirs reports and river gage data, please visit: https://www.lrp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Water-Management/.

Pittsburgh District’s 26,000 square miles include portions of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Maryland and southwestern New York. It includes more than 328 miles of navigable waterways, 23 navigation locks and dams, 16 multi-purpose flood control reservoirs, 42 local flood-protection projects and other projects to protect and enhance the nation’s water resources infrastructure and environment.  

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flood risk high water Mahoning River Valley Ohio River Basin Pittsburgh District reservoirs U.S. Army Corps of Egnieers USACE