US Army Corps of Engineers
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Bluestone Dam, Dam Safety Assurance Mega-Project

Introduction: Bluestone Dam began operations in 1949 and is located in West Virginia in Summers County approximately one and a half miles upstream of the City of Hinton. The dam is a conventional concrete gravity dam measuring nearly a 0.5 mile long and 165 feet tall. Bluestone Dam is a multi-purpose project.  To learn more about Bluestone Dam, please click on the Bluestone Dam Overview

To learn about the recreation provided by Bluestone Dam, visit: 

To learn about the current status of the hydro-electric power installation at the dam, please visit:


Bluestone Dam’s primary purpose is to reduce flood risks throughout the New, Kanawha, and Ohio River valleys. It has reduced flood damages in excess of $5.9 billion during its life. To learn how Bluestone Dam helps reduce flood damages, please expand the Reducing Flood Risk  folder to the right. To seek the current status of inflow and outflow at the dam, can be found at:


A Dam Safety Assurance Mega Project: A Dam Safety Assurance (DSA) report was approved in 1998 to address deficiencies that could lead to a breach of the project. A breach would cause catastrophic flooding along the largest river valleys in West Virginia that include the capital city of Charleston and major manufacturing and chemical industries.
Dam failure could put 165,000 lives at risk and result in property damages in excess of $20B. Investments approved by a 1998 Dam Safety Assurance (DSA) (Phases 1-4) study have increased confidence in the dam’s ability to store water to its original design elevation (El 1520).  The DSA work, now underway, primarily consists of increasing outflow capacity with an auxiliary spillway and stabilizing the dam with rock anchors and thrust block. This work is anticipated to be completed in 2019. To learn more about the DSA please expand the Dam Safety Assurance Mega Project folder to the right. 

Phase 5 Has Started: Since the approval of the 1998 DSA report, an additional concern has been identified. The primary spillway cannot pass significant flow without substantially increasing the potential for a breach of the dam.  A supplementary study has been completed to identify a selected plan to address this additional deficiency. Phase 5 began in 2019 with the construction of a temporary dam to bisect the stilling basin. For more information on Phase 5, please expand the Phase 5 Investment folder.


Your Flood Risks:  Bluestone Dam, like all dams, reduces the risk of flooding but does not eliminate it. Extreme storms can exceed Bluestone Dam’s ability to slow storm water requiring releases. In addition, storms can occur downstream of Bluestone Dam or along the multitude of uncontrolled streams in the New and Kanawha River valleys, including the Greenbrier River, the Meadow River, the Lower Gauley, Paint Creek, Cabin Creek and the Coal River that can cause flooding. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works diligently to ensure our dams work to reduce flood risks; but we cannot eliminate them. If you live in a river valley, regardless if there is dam, your life and property are at risk of flooding. To learn more about your flood risks and what you can do to reduce them, please expand the Flood Risk Awareness  folder and visit  To monitor current river and lake conditions within the Kanawha River basin, please visit



CALL: (304) 399-5211 (Local) or (866) 502-2570 (Toll Free)  


                       Repairing Bluestone Video Bluestone Dam, National Dam Safety
  Bluestone DSA Accelerated Timeline for Bluestone Dam


Contact Information

For additional questions or comments about this project, please contact us:

Bluestone Dam Documentary


Public Review Documents

  • Bluestone Dam Phase 5 Review Plan

Phase 5 Investment


Bluestone in the News

 Important Role for Leaders  What You Should Know
Project Photos