US Army Corps of Engineers
Huntington District Website Website

Sutton Dam Water Releases May Affect Residents

Published March 18, 2015

Huntington, W.Va. – Residents who live along the Elk River below Sutton Dam in Sutton,

W.Va., are being cautioned that after future extreme storm events, they may see higher river levels than

they have experienced in the past as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to manage the dam’s

storage capacity.


Between December 1 and April 15 the lake is regulated to maintain a “winter” level – by keeping

the pool low, it allows for maximum storage capacity during heavy rain events in the Spring (such as

during the past week).


When downstream stages rise above historically-set control levels, Sutton Dam holds back flood

waters. When the flows downstream have dropped below control levels, the dam will open to release the

stored floodwaters as quickly as possible (without exceeding downstream control levels). It is essential

to get rid of the excess flood waters stored in the dam in order to prepare for any future precipitation.

The maximum allowed release stage at Sutton Dam’s outflow gage is 25 feet, which is 2 feet

higher than the releases observed on March 11, 2015.


While the Sutton Dam personnel will do their best to inform residents and businesses

downstream of the dam of any higher-than-expected releases (if they become necessary), it is important

that people in the affected areas stay alert to the possible change in river levels.


For more information, call the Public Affairs office at 304-399-5353.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. PA 15-006