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U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: MARCH RESERVOIR LEVELS

 PITTSBURGH, March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- "Our flood control reservoirs in the tri-state area are doing the job for which they were built," said Col. Harold F. Alvord, district engineer for the Pittsburgh District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
 However, district hydrologists are keeping in close touch with the National Weather Service as they monitor storm systems that could provide additional rain in the area later this week.
 Rain and snow melt have raised the level at all 16 of the Pittsburgh District's reservoirs, but most are within what district hydrologists consider a reasonable margin of safety.
 Even those reservoirs at the highest levels are considered of no major concern at this time. Significant additional rain later this week is a matter of concern.
 Without additional rain, most district reservoirs could be back at their normal storage elevations in a matter of days at their current rate of release. More rain would mean cutting back on releases, which is the district's normal response. This would prolong high stages downstream as water is released from the reservoirs.
 "What we're facing," Alvord said, "is a potential balancing act. Once our reservoirs collect the run-off from one storm, we like to release as much of that additional water as possible to provide adequate storage in the reservoir for the next system.
 "That is what we're doing now at all our reservoirs. However, Conemaugh River Lake near Blairsville, Pa., and Youghiogheny River Lake near Confluence, Pa., are at or above 60 percent of their flood storage capacity.
 "Additional run-off from a new storm system at either of these reservoirs could leave us in the unenviable position of having to maintain significant releases from these projects even as downstream rivers rise from uncontrolled run-off," said Alvord.
 The alternative, according to Alvord, would be to run the risk of exhausting the project's storage capacity. This would result in virtually uncontrolled releases from the project and a much greater flood hazard.
 Alvord promised the public would be notified if there were any significant changes in project operations.
 -0- 3/30/93
 /CONTACT: John Reed of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 412-644-4130/


CO: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

KC-MS -- PG008 -- 1120 03/30/93 14:16 EST
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Date:Mar 30, 1993
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