Protecting in all kinds of conditions

By Mike Ekberg, manager of water resources monitoring and analysis

The US Postal Service is often lauded for delivering the mail in all kinds of weather—rain, snow, sleet, etc. But delivering, or in our case, protecting, in bad weather is kind of our thing. And for the past two weekends, our staff took it to another level, protecting our communities while following the necessary guidelines in place due to COVID-19.

“The river went up extremely quickly, and staff monitored the situation and responded—some during the middle of the night—with timely flood gate closures and well readings,” says Janet Bly, MCD general manager, of the March 19-23 high water event. “Staff members are following the workplace guidelines necessary due to the COVID-19 situation while still doing the critically important job of protecting communities from flooding.”

The hydrology team drove separately to the gages to collect stream measurements, says Krystal Lacy, lead worker. Since the team members can’t wash their hands in the field, the hydro techs made sure to use lots of hand sanitizer between locations and kept distance between one another. And they made sure to wipe down the vehicles, she says.

Water rushing through the Germantown Dam conduits.


High water facts and figures for the March 19-23 high-water event:

  • An average of 2.5 inches of rain fell throughout the Miami Valley between 8 a.m. March 18 and 8 a.m. March 20.
  • At peak storage, our five flood protection dams together stored a total of 6.8 billion gallons of water, which ranks 95th on MCD’s list of largest high water events.
  • The peak pool stage at Germantown Dam reached 42.4 feet, which ranks 24th on the list of highest pool stages at the dam.

High water facts and figures for the March 28-29 high-water event:

  • Between 0.75 and 3.25 inches of rain fell throughout the Miami Valley March 28 and 29.
  • At peak storage, our five flood protection dams together stored a total of about 6.5 billion gallons of water, which ranks 102nd on MCD’s list of largest high water events.
  • Lockington Dam recorded its 15th highest pool stage at 28.8 feet.

MCD has recorded seven high water events so far in 2020, with the dams together storing water 25 times this year.

How much water flowed through Germantown Dam?
Earlier this week, a resident asked how much water was flowing through Germantown Dam conduits during the high water event. We thought you might be interested, too.

Peak outflow at Germantown during the high water event over the March 21 weekend was 7,000 cubic feet of water per second, equaling about 3.1 million gallons per minute or 188.5 million gallons per hour.

“I just love that dam and it really works,” the resident wrote, “And they didn’t have any computers, just slide rulers (when it was built).”

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