US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

Norfolk District cancels Gathright Dam pulse release

Published Sept. 1, 2020
Gathright Dam in Alleghany County, Virginia, impounds water flowing down the Jackson River to create the 2,500-acre Lake Moomaw. Since opening in 1979, the dam has prevented numerous floods, saving countless dollars and lives.

Gathright Dam in Alleghany County, Virginia, impounds water flowing down the Jackson River to create the 2,500-acre Lake Moomaw. Since opening in 1979, the dam has prevented numerous floods, saving countless dollars and lives. (U.S. Army photo/Vince Little)

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials have canceled Wednesday’s scheduled pulse release at Gathright Dam in the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia near Covington.

The decision was reached in coordination with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Heavy rainfall in the region has caused high water flows, negating the need for a pulse.

During a pulse release, dam operators gradually increase water flow to a rate of 3,500 cubic feet per second. In some areas, the Jackson River can rise more than 2 feet an hour.

The remaining 2020 pulse releases are set for the following Wednesdays:

Sept. 23
Oct. 14

Dates are subject to change based on weather conditions and rainfall. For updates, refer to www.nao-wc.usace.army.mil/nao/projected_Q.html.

Pulse releases, which began in 2011, are designed to improve aquatic habitat and water quality in the Lower Jackson River. Monitoring data has shown the increased flow scours excess algae downstream and strengthens the river’s health.

Norfolk District provides innovative engineering solutions – in collaboration with partners – to deliver water resources, military, interagency, environmental and disaster-response programs that make communities, the commonwealth of Virginia and nation a better place to work and live.