Photo: Cindy Seigle (Flickr)
As south central Indiana continues to be pummeled by rain, Monroe Reservoir has reached its capacity.
The water level at the Monroe Dam around 10 o’clock last night was 556 ft., which is just over its capacity of around 555.7 ft. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District, who control the dam, have begun releasing water from the reservoir into the tail waters which run into Salt Creek.
Monroe Dam Maintenance Mechanic Robert D. Livingston says while the water has crested the spillway, there’s not much room in the tail waters.
“We’re starting to release 2/10ths every hour,” he says, “which is about 5-600 cfs. The problem is, our tail water is full, and I don’t know how much they’re gonna let us open up.”
More rain in the forecast will mean even more water spilling into the Salt Creek system, running from southern Monroe County to Bedford, in Lawrence County.
According to the Army Corps of Engineers, Hoosiers living near Salt Creek can expect up to an additional 3,000 cubic feet per second of water to be released eventually, which will likely cause the creek to rise an additional 1 ft. in Bedford.
Patoka Lake Reservoir in DuBois County is also at capacity as of yesterday, and the Corps is beginning to release up to 1,200 cubic feet of water per second downstream from that lake.
According to the Corps, all Indiana dams are operating under normal parameters for the situation, and are structurally sound.