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Posted: February 25, 2018

MCD dams storing floodwaters

All Miami Conservancy District (MCD) dams are storing floodwaters after the region received an average of 1.8 inches of rain across the Great Miami River Watershed yesterday and overnight. That’s on top of the approximately 2-3 inches of rain over the last week or so.

MCD’s system of five dry dams and 55 miles of levee are designed to protect riverfront cities’ downtowns and surrounding neighborhoods – from Piqua to Hamilton – from flooding by the Great Miami River.

The dams begin to store water when river levels upstream of the dams rise near to or just above the top of the conduits (concrete outlets) at the dams.

The five retarding basins behind the dams, collectively, were storing 8.2 billion gallons of water as of 11:30 a.m. Together, the retarding basins can store a total of 271 billion gallons of water.

River levels will begin to peak this afternoon. Floodwaters stored at Germantown, Lockington, Taylorsville and Huffman dams are expected to peak by tonight. Storage at Englewood is expected to peak tomorrow. The dams will slowly release all of the temporarily stored floodwaters over the next few days.

The MCD flood protection system is designed to protect to the 1913 flood level plus 40 percent. That equals about 14 inches of precipitation over a 72-hour period across the 4,000-square-mile Great Miami River Watershed.

The MCD retarding basins behind the flood protection dams collectively have stored floodwaters more than 1,900 times, protecting communities along the Great Miami River from Piqua to Hamilton. The integrated system of five dry dams, 55 miles of levee and thousands of acres of floodplain was completed in 1922. When not storing floodwaters, the land behind the dams is used as parkland and farmland.