The Corps has drawn down the reservoir at William L. Jess Dam about four feet below the usual minimum flood reduction elevation to provide additional water storage this fall and winter. The Corps will draw down an additional three and a half feet in mid November. The additional storage will help address potential issues with the dam’s three spillway Tainter gates.
Inspections performed as part of the Corps’ ongoing dam safety and infrastructure rehabilitation program revealed excessive stress on similarly designed gates elsewhere in the region. The Corps has not seen evidence of overstressed gates at Jess Dam, but will proactively upgrade or replace components on the gates in the coming years as funding becomes available.
In the meantime, the Corps has implemented a series of interim risk reduction measures to lessen the potential for excessive stress on the gates.
Applegate Dam’s spillway Tainter gates are of a different design and not a concern.
William L Jess and Applegate dams contribute to a water resource management system that provides flood damage reduction, fish and wildlife habitat, irrigation, municipal and industrial water supply, power generation, water quality improvement and recreation on the Rogue and Applegate rivers. Since their completion, the dams have cumulatively prevented more than $68 million in flood damages to the Rogue Valley.
For more information about the corps’ rogue river Basin Project visit http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/locations/home.asp and click on the “rogue” tab.