Leesville Dam Dodges Flooding Bullet

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The spring thaw means Connecticut rivers and streams are running higher than normal, but one precarious spot on the Salmon River may have dodged a bullet this season.

The area just below the Leesville Dam has had a history of flooding problems. The reason?  Chunks of ice flowing over the dam pile up at the bridge for State Road 151 just downstream. That plugs water flow, causing the river to overflow.

So, the Department Of Energy And Environmental Protection put in concrete blocks just above the dam to stop the ice.

Despite the prolonged cold, DEEP said there was just enough time this spring for a gradual thaw to melt away any kind of ice issues, so DEEP isn’t sure if the ice control project has really been tested.

“The floating ice will stay still so that’s what we’re hoping, but I don’t know if it (the dam) could be overwhelmed or overcome,” Art Christian, DEEP Supervising Civil Engineer, said.

DEEP said this past weekend’s downpour could have created a big problem if it happened just a couple weeks earlier when there was still ice buildup on the Salmon River.

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