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Corps to lower pool in order to continue Lac qui Parle Dam repairs

ST. PAUL -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, completed the first phase of its planned repairs to the Lac qui Parle Dam near Watson on Thursday. Additional repairs are expected to be completed in the coming weeks. In order to s...

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, completed the first phase of its planned repairs to the Lac qui Parle Dam near Watson on Thursday. (Forum News Service map)

 

 

ST. PAUL - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, completed the first phase of its planned repairs to the Lac qui Parle Dam near Watson on Thursday.

Additional repairs are expected to be completed in the coming weeks. In order to support the ongoing repairs, the St. Paul District is lowering the Lac qui Parle pool level.

The Corps plans to lower the pool nearly 1 foot to no lower than elevation 933 feet by Thanksgiving. The current elevation is 933.8 feet. Normal summer pool is elevation 933 feet, while normal winter pool elevation is 934 feet. Flows from the dam on the Minnesota River were increased Thursday by around 400 cubic feet per second in order to draw down the pool.

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By Thanksgiving, the Corps will reduce flows from the dam to match the incoming flows to the lake. The released flows from the dam will be further reduced Nov. 28 to 400 cubic feet per second or less. Normal November flow is 350 cubic feet per second, and inflow is currently around 900. The Corps hopes to raise the pool elevation back to the normal level of 934 feet by early December.

Corps engineers discovered a sinkhole on the dam embankment Oct. 28. While assessing the sinkhole, divers found scouring under the abutment wall footings and concrete dam apron. None of these issues are an imminent threat to the integrity of the dam, but actions are being taken to immediately correct these issues.

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