YORK, PA – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, celebrated Indian Rock Dam’s 75th anniversary with a ceremony and an open house for the public this Saturday.
The hundreds of members of the public who attended the event learned about Indian Rock Dam’s history and how it has reduced flood risks to York and other downstream communities since it was completed in 1942. The Corps estimates that the dam has prevented more than $55 million in damages to downstream communities during its lifetime, though the number is likely higher since that primarily takes into account the most extreme high water events.
“The number that matters today is 75 -- 75 years of keeping public safety in mind, 75 years of engineering excellence, diligent inspections, maintenance of this facility… 75 years in the making and still going,” said Baltimore District Commander Col. Ed Chamberlayne during the ceremony. “The professionals from the Corps of Engineers are committed to ensuring dams like this one, since 1942, continue to operate safely.”
The primary beneficiary of the Indian Rock Dam’s flood risk reduction is the York, Pennsylvania.
“The York community is appreciative to the United States Army Corps of Engineers for maintaining and sustaining the dam for the past 75 years to ensure the welfare of our community,” said York Mayor Kim Bracey, speaking in front of Indian Rock Dam’s gatehouse. “Congratulations to the Corps on the 75th anniversary and thank you so very much for your commitment and dedication to safeguard our homes, our environment and our very lives.”
Rep. Scott Perry recognized the 75th anniversary of Indian Rock Dam in Congress earlier this month, and a copy of those remarks were read aloud to the crowd as well.
Indian Rock Dam is one of 13 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dam projects in the Susquehanna River watershed. Indian Rock Dam is an earth and rock structure 1,000 feet long rising 83 feet above the streambed, with a side-channel spillway and gated outlet conduit in the right abutment. The normally dry reservoir area has a storage capacity of 28,000 acre-feet (9.1 billion gallons) at spillway crest and controls a drainage area of 94 square miles, equivalent to 41 percent of the watershed upstream from York. In all, it’s estimated the Baltimore District’s flood risk management projects in the Susquehanna River watershed have prevented nearly $4 billion in damages over the years.
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