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NEWS
Corps Announces Gathright Dam Safety Plan
October 16, 2009


Gathright Dam on the Jackson River, near Covington, Va., is an earthen dam used for flood damage reduction for communities downstream.

According to information available from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, officials from the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, met with Alleghany County and Covington leaders recently to discuss the Corps’ plan to improve safety at Gathright Dam, which is located on the Jackson River 19 miles upstream from the city of Covington in Virginia’s Alleghany and Bath counties.

The plan is a response to Gathright’s Dam Safety Action Classification, or DSAC, rating received Sept. 2nd, according to Bill Sorrentino, chief of the district’s engineering, construction and operations division, which operates the facility.

Corps experts assessed and assigned the Gathright Dam rating of DSAC II or “potentially unsafe.” The rating includes a risk-informed screening process, which considers current dam behavior, how well the dam meets current design criteria, as well as the potential consequences of dam failure.

During the evaluation of Gathright, inspectors expressed concerns about possible increased seepage at the toe, or downstream edge, of the dam and an undetermined flow rate a quarter mile downstream.

Immediate risk reduction actions taken at the facility include reducing the Lake Moomaw water level by one foot per week and conducting inspections three times a day.


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