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News Release

Flood Control Dams Provide Benefit

SALINA, KANSAS, June 28, 2021‒ On the evenings of Thursday, June 24 and Friday, June 25 up to ten inches of rain fell in areas of Kansas, causing local flooding.  Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has assisted local sponsors to install floodwater retarding structures in many of these areas.

Over the period of Thursday, June 24 through Saturday, June 26 these flood control dams provided an estimated $4,885,000 in benefits in Kansas.  These benefits are the monetary value of damages that would have occurred had the flood control measure not been in place.

Some of the benefits estimated were $440,000 in Brown County, $250,000 in Rush County, $1,085,000 in Butler County, $935,000 in Harvey County, $680,000 in Chase County, $300,000 in Elk County, and other numerous counties.  These benefits are calculated by a National Watershed Benefits Model developed by NRCS.  This model uses radar estimated rainfall to calculate benefits daily for 11,845 NRCS assisted flood control dams nationwide.  831 of these dams are located in Kansas.

These flood control dams were installed by local watershed districts with assistance from NRCS.  Local sponsors are responsible for operating and maintaining the dams, some of which have been in place over 50 years, to assure their safe operation.

Karen A. Woodrich, State Conservationist, said, “These dams are out there performing a function that goes largely unnoticed, but when we receive high intensity rainfalls like we have had recently, they function and quietly do their job of slowing down flood flows.”

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