Preventing Major Flood Damage

May 2017
By CarlyleAdmin
Posted: Updated:

Lake Shelbyville & Carlyle Lake
Prevent Major Flood Damage

 As of 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 5, 2017 the pool elevation at Carlyle Lake was 453.29 feet, referenced to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD), with a release of approximately 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). The average inflow from May 1st through May 4th was 29,495 day second feet (dsf).  Due to the rainfall that has occurred throughout the past several days, the pool is project to crest at less than 456.0 feet NGVD on Thursday, May 10, 2017.  This is about 11 feet above the normal summer pool of 445.0 feet NGVD.  The pool at Lake Shelbyville was 607.13 feet, NGVD with a release rate of approximately 419 cfs.  The average inflow from May 1st through May 4th was 12,155 day second feet (dsf).  Lake Shelbyville is projected to crest at 612.5 feet NGVD on May 10th, approximately 13 feet above the target summer pool.

Lake Shelbyville and Carlyle Lake serve a number of purposes, including water supply, recreation, wildlife management and flood risk management. As near record breaking rain began to fall across the area, their flood risk management purpose became a priority. Shelbyville and Carlyle are vital in reducing downstream flows. The reservoirs capture excess run off and hold it until flood waters recede. By delaying releases and letting downstream tributaries recede, Shelbyville and Carlyle helped decrease downstream flows and prevented additional damage on the Lower Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers. Since 1993, Carlyle Lake and Lake Shelbyville have helped to prevent approximately $717,624,000 in flood damages. In addition, they were able to reduce rivers levels on the Mississippi River at Chester by 3.0 feet, Cape Girardeau by 2.0 feet, and Cairo by 1.5 feet.

Without storage at Shelbyville and Carlyle, many roadways between Carlyle and the Mississippi River would have been flooded. The reservoirs’ ability to hold back water was vital to allowing access to roadways and reducing water flow for many downstream tributaries. Inflows on downstream tributaries reached record levels including, Crooked Creek flows of approximately 14,000 cfs, Shoal Creek approximately 19,000 cfs and the Kaskaskia at Venedy Station flows over 36,000 cfs. If not for Shelbyville and Carlyle, the flows would have been approximately two times greater.

Lake Shelbyville and Carlyle Lake are still working to prevent impacts downstream. Working closely with partners and the local community, Shelbyville and Carlyle are able to serve their purpose and prevent major flood damage.

For more information, contact the Carlyle Lake Project Office at (618) 594-2484 or email at corps-news-img