Huntington, W.Va. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the staff at Sutton Lake will host public tours of Sutton Dam on July 19, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pre-registration is not required. Participants need to bring a government-issued photo ID. The tour group will meet at the parking lot at the top of the dam. Cell phones, cameras and carry bags will not be permitted on the tour.
Sutton Lake covers 1440 acres. The scenic lake winds 14 miles along the Elk River with many coves along its 40 miles of shoreline. The lake is 125 feet deep at the dam. Sutton Dam is located just above the Town of Sutton, 101 miles above the mouth of the Elk River in Charleston.
It is a concrete-gravity structure, measuring 210 feet high, 1,178 feet long, and 195 feet wide at the base. It controls a 537 square mile drainage area, including the upper Elk River and the Holly River. Sutton Dam was built primarily for flood control on the Elk, Kanawha and Ohio Rivers. During periods of flooding, water is stored behind the dam, frequently reducing the severity of flooding below the dam.
Flood damages have been reduced by more than $375 million thanks to flood control efforts at Sutton Dam. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates and maintains the dam and project recreation facilities.
The Sutton Lake project was authorized by Congress in the Flood Control Act of 1938. Construction began in October 1949, but was interrupted by the Korean War. Work restarted in 1956 and in the dam was completed in 1961 at a cost of $35 million.
Release no. PA 14-29