USACE to host a public workshop in White County regarding Beaver Dam interim risk reduction measures

Published Dec. 10, 2021
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District has scheduled a drop-in public workshop to discuss the Beaver Dam Interim Risk Reduction Measures from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the White County Emergency Management Office, in Searcy, Arkansas on Dec. 16. Those wishing to attend can drop-in anytime during the meeting to speak with a USACE representative and address any issues they may have about the interim risk reduction measures.

In August, USACE announced they would be implementing additional interim risk reduction measures for Beaver Dam that will begin on Jan. 1, 2022.

The new measures will allow engineers to lower the water levels behind Beaver Dam more efficiently following significant rainfall events. Additionally, if conditions allow, the measures will also reduce the amount of time engineers have to maintain the 12-foot regulating stage at Newport, Arkansas on the White River by holding higher stages in the winter and spring. These changes are required because of recently identified dam safety issues at Beaver Dam.

USACE officials want the public to know that the dam is not at risk of imminent catastrophic failure. However, the identified dam safety issues combined with the last

decade’s above average precipitation has regularly increased the amount of time Beaver Lake stays in flood pool, which increases the risks to the population living downstream of Beaver Dam.

These increased risks were identified during routine periodic inspections and risk assessments of Beaver Dam. Engineers want to ensure any increase risks to the downstream population are minimized.

The interim risk reduction measures are a series of actions put in place to reduce the risk of a catastrophic event below Beaver Dam. The risk reduction measures are considered interim because they may or may not be part of the long-term solution once the risks are further analyzed and more potential solutions are evaluated.

Beaver Lake is part of a system of lakes on the White River. Engineers started implementing interim risk reduction measures immediately following the 2016 periodic inspection and risk assessment. One of the first measures put in place was the doubling of the minimum flow releases for power generation. This measure allows engineers to lower the lake levels faster and get from flood pool to conservation pool. When the lake has storage in the flood pool, this measure allows engineers to double the minimum flow release, from 950 cubic feet per second to 1,900 c.f.s in most circumstances except when certain high flood conditions exist downstream (when Table Rock is above its pool elevation of 917 feet and/or the system storage of Beaver, Table Rock and Bull Shoals is above 50% full).

By implementing these new interim risk reduction measures, Beaver Lake is expected to spend more time near the top of the conservation pool instead of the top of the flood pool, greatly reducing risk to the population downstream.

Because of these changes, the Little Rock District will schedule meetings this winter throughout Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri and Eastern Arkansas to discuss the Interim Risk Reduction Measures. Additional meeting locations, dates and times will be announced in the near future.

More information about the White River Basin and the Little Rock District can be found on the Internet at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at


Release no. 21-134