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Corps To Keep Dam Outflow High Through Weekend

All the rain received recently has turned Point Park in Warren into a duck pond. Outflow from the Kinzua Dam is expected to keep the level of the Allegheny River up into next week. Photo by Josh Cotton

WARREN, Pa. — Waterways in Warren County are going to be risky places for the next several days.

Precipitation data from the City of Warren Fire Department shows in the area of 3.5 inches of rain in the last week.

A metric from the National Weather Service details Warren County has received 3 inches of precipitation more in the last month than normal. The county is listed with counties seeing between 51 and 75 percent more precipitation than average.

The level of the Allegheny River, per the U.S. Geological Survey, has increased by nearly 2.5 feet since July 15.

And according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Allegheny Reservoir is in excess of 9 feet higher than summer pool.

River levels are up. Typical discharge — also per cubic feet — for this time of year is between 2,000 and 2,500. The tracking station downtown has recorded outflows for several days in excess of 15,000. Conditions on the Conewango and Brokenstraw are similar.

And, where the river is concerned, those levels are expected to stay elevated into next week.

According to the Corps, outflow from the Kinzua Dam was in excess of 11,000 cubic feet per second. The reservoir level was measured at 1,336.21 feet above sea level. The river level, per the USGS, is just below 8 feet at the measuring station downtown.

While levels appear to be slowly coming down, max summer pool on the reservoir, according to the USACE’s forecast, is 1,327.53 feet.

That 9 feet of water has to go somewhere, which means there’s a lot more water that will be coming downstream in the next few days.

A forecast from the Corps indicates that outflow from the dam will exceed 11,000 CFS through Monday and will still exceed 10,000 on Tuesday, which is as far as the forecast reaches. That is projected to drop the reservoir level by about five feet.

As much water as this might be, data from the Corps indicate that the current level only uses 18 percent of the reservoir’s capacity, though normal capacity available on July 22 is 99 percent.

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