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Conowingo Dam Opens Gates, Havre de Grace Watches Water Levels

Several gates were opened at the dam on the Susquehanna River Tuesday.

Five gates of the Conowingo Dam were opened Oct. 30, as the dam was operating under spill conditions.

"That should not give us any significant effect," Teresa Walter, chief of the Havre de Grace Police Department, said of the impact on her jurisdiction.

Dam officials anticipated opening three to seven additional gates by Wednesday morning. The dam has 50 gates total.

Havre de Grace was under a coastal flood advisory until noon Wednesday, with water levels one foot above normal, according to the National Weather Service.

In the meantime, Havre de Grace authorities were keeping a close eye on the tides.

On Tuesday morning, there were "very high water levels," Jeff Gilpin, spokesman for the Havre de Grace Police Department, said. As a result, police advised several residents on Water Street to self-relocate Oct. 30.

As of Tuesday evening, all waterfront parks remained closed and Gilpin said that for the most part, people were respecting barricades. "We’re very pleased with how our citizens are reacting to it," Gilpin said. "It makes our jobs easier."

Heather Young October 31, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Really? Everytime I rode by a barricade there was someone moving it to get in or just plain driving around it..
John Cole October 31, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Correction: The dam has 53 gates. All 53 have only been opened twice; one in 1936, and again in again in 1972 for Hurricane Agnes.
James P. Miller October 31, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Every spring and fall when the water is high the question always comes up. How many flood gates are there? Someone should go and count the flood gates and the open spill ways so this discussion can be settled.
Fred Cullum November 01, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Flood control The dam also has 53 flood control gates, starting at the northeastern end of the powerhouse and spanning the majority of the dam. In 1936, all the flood gates were opened. During Hurricane Agnes, in 1972, all 53 flood gates were opened, for only the second time, and explosives planted to blow a section of the weir, as the waters rose during the early morning hours of June 24 within 5 feet (1.52 m) of topping the dam (a record crest of 111.5 ft (34.0 m), 3 feet (0.91 m) above normal level for the entire 14-mile (23 km) long Conowingo Reservoir.) Paul English, dam superintendent, released a bulletin at 10:30 p.m. on June 23 saying that the water levels were reaching a point at which the stability of the dam "cannot be controlled. When it reaches 111 feet (33.8 m)...it will be in the hazy area...It is not known...whether a structure of the dam may give and...people downstream should be advised."[7] At this time, the flow sensor in the dam recorded its record discharge of 1,130,000 cu ft/s (32,000 m3/s), and the stream height gauge, at the dam's downstream side, registered a record 36.85 feet (11.23 m).[8] On September 9, 2011, 44 flood gates were opened due to the impact of the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. The Susquehanna River behind the dam was 32.41 feet (9.88 m), the third-highest in history. The town of Port Deposit, located 5 miles southeast of the dam, was evacuated.[
John Cole November 01, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I think the answer is here: http://havredegrace.patch.com/blog_posts/high-water-on-the-susquehanna

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