New England News Releases

USACE reminds visitors to practice water safety
5/10/2024
As millions of Americans plan visits to our nation’s lakes and rivers, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District reminds visitors of the importance of practicing safe, sensible, and...
USACE’s swim beach at Otter Brook Lake permanently closed
5/8/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District announced today that the swim beach at Otter Brook Lake in Keene and Roxbury, N.H., is permanently closed and will not be open to the public when...
USACE hosts open house May 2 in Mansfield Center, Conn., for Mansfield Hollow Lake Master Plan revision
4/19/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house May 2, 2024, in Mansfield Center, Conn., to kick off a process to revise the 1979 Mansfield Hollow Lake Master Plan for...

Top Rotator

Local bird watchers descended upon West Hill Dam armed with pen, paper and a few binoculars to participate in West Hill Dam’s annual Backyard Bird Count.
Construction of the System Management Engineering Facility (SMEF), the 40,000 square foot, 2-story addition, is well underway and progressing rapidly.
For vessels wanting to enter Plymouth waters, dredging to remove shoals from the Plymouth Harbor federal navigation project in Massachusetts is currently underway and on schedule.

News From Around the Corps

Building Resilience and Respect: USACE’s Role in Sustaining Military Capacity at Camp Buehring During Ramadan
4/8/2024 UPDATED
Strategic Infrastructure is crucial for sustaining military capability, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plays a vital role in ensuring its effectiveness. As a part of monthly rotational site...
Concrete is hard: Materials workshop keeps technical staff skills sharp
5/7/2024
Recently, members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Alaska District’s Construction Division, Civil and Sanitary Section and Geotechnical and Materials Section participated in a field concrete and...
Incorporating environmental flows through the Sustainable Rivers Program to support lake sturgeon spawning continues to prove successful
4/17/2024
The lake sturgeon, an ancient whisker-snouted fish from the Cretaceous period, is tied to present-day conservation efforts on the Mississippi River at the Melvin Price Locks and Dam in West Alton,...

Feature Stories

USACE Team fights floods in New England

CENAE-PA
Published July 20, 2023
Col. John Atilano visits personnel and assesses damage at Ball Mountain Dam, Townshend Dam, and Winhall campground on Friday, July 14, 2023.

Col. John Atilano visits personnel and assesses damage at Ball Mountain Dam, Townshend Dam, and Winhall campground on Friday, July 14, 2023.

Ball Mountain Dam before the flooding in this May 2023 photo.  Ball Mountain Lake has a permanent pool with a depth of 25 feet that covers 20 acres. From mid-May to mid-October, this pool is kept at a depth of 65 feet, enlarging the pool area to 75 acres, to increase the seasonal recreational opportunities. Ball Mountain Lake can store up to 17.8 billion gallons of water for flood control purposes. Holding that much water would have the reservoir pool cover 810 acres and extend 6.5 miles upstream through Londonderry. 
During this storm, at their peaks, the seven #USACE dams along the Connecticut River Basin in Vermont and New Hampshire were collectively storing and holding back 60 BILLION gallons of storm water. This is equivalent to 91,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

Ball Mountain Dam before the flooding in this May 2023 photo. Ball Mountain Lake has a permanent pool with a depth of 25 feet that covers 20 acres. From mid-May to mid-October, this pool is kept at a depth of 65 feet, enlarging the pool area to 75 acres, to increase the seasonal recreational opportunities. Ball Mountain Lake can store up to 17.8 billion gallons of water for flood control purposes. Holding that much water would have the reservoir pool cover 810 acres and extend 6.5 miles upstream through Londonderry. During this storm, at their peaks, the seven #USACE dams along the Connecticut River Basin in Vermont and New Hampshire were collectively storing and holding back 60 BILLION gallons of storm water. This is equivalent to 91,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

Ball Mountain Lake has a permanent pool with a depth of 25 feet that covers 20 acres. From mid-May to mid-October, this pool is kept at a depth of 65 feet, enlarging the pool area to 75 acres, to increase the seasonal recreational opportunities. Ball Mountain Lake can store up to 17.8 billion gallons of water for flood control purposes. Holding that much water would have the reservoir pool cover 810 acres and extend 6.5 miles upstream through Londonderry. 
During this storm, at their peaks, the seven #USACE dams along the Connecticut River Basin in Vermont and New Hampshire were collectively storing and holding back 60 BILLION gallons of storm water. This is equivalent to 91,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

Ball Mountain Lake has a permanent pool with a depth of 25 feet that covers 20 acres. From mid-May to mid-October, this pool is kept at a depth of 65 feet, enlarging the pool area to 75 acres, to increase the seasonal recreational opportunities. Ball Mountain Lake can store up to 17.8 billion gallons of water for flood control purposes. Holding that much water would have the reservoir pool cover 810 acres and extend 6.5 miles upstream through Londonderry. During this storm, at their peaks, the seven #USACE dams along the Connecticut River Basin in Vermont and New Hampshire were collectively storing and holding back 60 BILLION gallons of storm water. This is equivalent to 91,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

              Torrential downpours in mid-July inundated New England with massive amounts of rainfall.  Vermont and New Hampshire received the largest impacts and the water levels rose behind all of the USACE dams in the Upper Connecticut River Basin.

              During this storm, at their peaks, the seven USACE dams in the Upper Connecticut River Basin in Vermont and New Hampshire collectively stored 60 billion gallons of storm water, which is equivalent to 91,000 Olympic sized swimming pools, to mitigate downstream flooding.  All affected dams operated as designed.

              As a result of rising reservoir levels, all recreation areas in the Upper Connecticut River Basin were closed to the public, with Ball Mountain evacuating campers from its popular Winhall Brook Campground.

              “Our number one priority continues to be the life, health and safety of all potentially affected by the flooding,” said Col. John A. Atilano II, New England District Commander.

              The District’s Emergency Operations Center worked closely with Operations Staff, the Dam Safety Program personnel, and the Reservoir Control Center to monitor the dams.  Team members also coordinated with state and federal agencies, to include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 1, National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices as well as the NWS Northeast River Forecast Center. 

               On July 11, the Reservoir Control Center in Concord, Massachusetts assessed the status of the floodwaters and determined the Connecticut River was able to accept additional water. To provide space for the reservoirs to hold additional rain expected, at around 10 p.m., the Ball Mountain Dam team began slowly increasing the water being released from its reservoirs. The team at Townshend Dam released slow flows just before 1 a.m. on July 12.

              During the flooding, team members at Ball Mountain, Townshend, North Springfield, Union Village, and North Hartland worked around the clock monitoring pool levels and downstream conditions. Team members at the other Upper Connecticut River Basin dams did not have to staff around the clock but kept a close eye on the water levels. 

              New England District technical experts on the ground in Vermont and at the Reservoir Control Center in Concord, Massachusetts assessed the status of the floodwaters and determined the Connecticut River was able to accept additional water.  Inspections took place at all the basin dams to ensure they remained in good working order.  The inspections are routine during a flood event.  Col. Atilano praised the efforts of all the team members working the flood event.

              “We have the brightest and most capable minds doing extraordinary work; this mission, as with all our projects and programs, would not be possible without our people,” said Col. Atilano.

               In addition to the flood fighting efforts done by our teams at the USACE dams, FEMA mission assigned USACE debris and infrastructure subject matter experts during the flooding. Members of the team were tasked to assess 10 water treatment plants. At the state level, Vermont requested technical assistance, and District experts assisted with modeling support to predict future pool levels at dams identified by the state. The New England District team posted dam updates through all its social media outlets as well as press releases.

              While pools are above normal water levels at many of our dams, we continue to release water and lower the pools as allowed by the forecast.  The New England District Team will continue to monitor the situation closely and take appropriate action to ensure the safety of the public.

              “I want to give a shout out to our dedicated Park Rangers, engineers, hydrologists, the Reservoir Control Center in Concord, Emergency Operations Center, geotechnical team, and all of the hard-working USACE New England team for their dedication and expertise during this event,” said Col. Atilano. “Outstanding work and I know the people of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut appreciate it!"


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