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Posted: January 3, 2022

No holiday for MCD dams and levees

MCD’s flood control system of dams, levees, and preserved floodplain is working as designed, preventing floodwaters from affecting numerous city riverfronts along the Great Miami River. All five of MCD’s dams held back flood water, beginning Saturday, January 1. MCD staff members also responded to high river conditions in seven riverfront cities starting on Saturday, January 1 and continuing today.

Between December 26 and January 2, the Great Miami River and its tributaries rose and fell several times in response to heavy rain totaling between 1.5 and 3.0 inches across the watershed.

Englewood Dam, which temporarily stored floodwaters four separate times since Christmas Day, is the only dam that remains in storage today. Storage begins when the river level rises to the top of the conduits (concrete openings) at the dams.

Of the eleven Great Miami River cities where MCD maintains levees, seven of them experienced high water conditions over the weekend. MCD staff members monitored levees and/or closed floodgates in Troy, Dayton, Moraine, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Middletown, and Hamilton.

City storm sewer systems collect runoff from city streets and parking lots and drain it to the river, through MCD levees. Floodgates installed near the end of storm sewer pipes remain open except when MCD or the city responsible closes them to prevent a rising Great Miami River from backing up through the storm sewer into cities.

Due to high water covering the parking lots, the entrance gates to East River Landing and Miami Bend Park, in Moraine and West Carrollton respectively, have also been closed for safety. Several sections of the Great Miami River Trail have also been or remain under water.

MCD staff continues to monitor river levels and take action as necessary. With no precipitation in the immediate forecast, MCD anticipates this first high water event of 2022 to end on January 4 or 5.

MCD’s flood protection system significantly reduces flood risk for riverfront cities along the Great Miami River. Following the 1913 Flood, MCD engineers designed the dry dams and levees you see along the Great Miami River. For nearly 100 years, these structures have protected cities from Piqua to Hamilton.