County Officials Warn of Possible High Water Due to Patoka Lake

Dubois County (NNDC):

Water levels are climbing at Patoka Lake and officials are working together in hopes to drain the excess water from the reservoir before the spring rains which might possibly lead to excessive water levels down stream and affect farms and businesses.

Recent heavy rain and snow have filled the reservoir to over 75% percent of its capacity.

Jasper Mayor Dean Vonderheide commented Wednesday that water has been held to this point to prevent flooding downstream. Now, the City of Jasper and the Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dubois County officials, area farmers, as well as other entities as well as the local soil and water district are coordinating to stabilize the situation before it becomes more serious.  Legislators have also been apprised of the situation.

The goal is to release more water from the reservoir to try to get it down, said a representative from the Army Corps of Engineers.

The reservoir is managed by the Corps of Engineers, and the local interests of farmers and companies  have contacted the corps’  of Engineers out of the Louisville office and requested a temporary dispensation from the standard water discharge requirements, which would route more water than normally allowed out of the reservoir.

The Corps of Engineers is requesting the exception to last between now and crop season, but the request still has to process through the legal process before it is approved.

Before making the changes, the Corps will needs approval from the Army Corps of Engineers’ district office though that should only take a couple of weeks.

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