US Army Corps of Engineers
Kansas City District Website

News Release Manager

Emergency dive operations allow water releases at Harlan County Dam

Published June 27, 2014

REPUBLICAN CITY, Neb.,— The Kansas City District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ emergency dive operation has made better than expected progress, clearing enough debris to allow water releases from Harlan County Lake.

On June 14-15 a severe wind storm and associated wave action destroyed the temporary construction platform used to install anchors on the dam. The temporary construction platform plunged to the bottom of the lake in front of the interior sluice gates used for normal lake releases. The emergency dive operation has removed enough construction debris to allow normal operation of one sluice gate so releases can be made for irrigation. The operation is continuing to remove debris from the other sluiceways.

The temporary construction work platform was part of the initial phase of the maintenance work involving installation of anchors on the face of the dam. The anchors allow stoplogs to be deployed so repairs to the Tainter spillway gates can be made without lowering the lake level. The Tainter gates are primarily used to make large flood releases when the lake level is high. The Tainter gates are in need of repair for the safe operation of the lake during large floods.

The road across the dam will continue to have an 8-foot-6-inch wide lane restriction in place through the Fourth of July weekend as emergency dive operations continue to remove the remaining debris. 

For questions, please contact the Public Affairs Office at (816) 389-3486.

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Release no. PA-2014-32