US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

Final Gathright Dam pulse release scheduled tomorrow cancelled

Norfolk District Public Affairs Office
Published Oct. 14, 2014
Gathright Dam located in Alleghany County, Va., impounds the water flowing down the Jackson River to create the 2,500 acre Lake Moomaw. The dam has prevented numerous floods over its 30 plus year existence saving countless dollars and lives. (U.S. Army Photo/Patrick Bloodgood)

Gathright Dam located in Alleghany County, Va., impounds the water flowing down the Jackson River to create the 2,500 acre Lake Moomaw. The dam has prevented numerous floods over its 30 plus year existence saving countless dollars and lives. (U.S. Army Photo/Patrick Bloodgood)

NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk District has cancelled the sixth and final pulse release from Gathright Dam due to heavy rainfall expected in the area over the next 24 to 36 hours.

The pulse releases, performed in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, are used to monitor the environmental benefits of using a higher controlled flow rate to remove algae and provide a healthier water habitat to the Jackson and upper James rivers.

Officials will monitor the rain event to determine if they need to reschedule the final pulse release or not.

“The expected rainfall may perform the same function as a pulse release so therefore there would be no environmental benefit in rescheduling a release at a later date,” said Owen Reece, Norfolk District hydraulic engineer. “We will make a final determination after the system goes through.” 

Officials also say with heavy rain forecasted the water managers do not want to make any high flows potentially worse by releasing more water in to the river system than they have to.

A recorded message, updated daily, is available at 540-965-411 for people interested in Gathright Dam information including release rates, water temperature and more. 

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