Statement as issued Wednesday by Fort Wayne City Utilities:
Fort Wayne, IN – The contractor hired by the City of Fort Wayne to make repairs to the flood control levee along Edgewater Avenue has completed the portion of the work that required river levels in the city to be lowered; this means water levels in the city’s rivers should begin to rise on Wednesday evening, August 1.
This afternoon, City Utilities closed a gate at the Hosey Dam on the Maumee River so that more water will be held behind the dam. Once the gate is closed, slowly rising levels will be seen on all three rivers, primarily in the downtown area. Rivers will rise by a few feet and will return to their normal summer pool level over the next two to three days.
The contractor was required to complete the part of the project that made lower rivers necessary early in the construction work so river levels could be raised back to the normal summer pool level as soon as possible.
River levels were lowered on June 23, 2012. It was originally anticipated that it could take several weeks for the portion of the work in the riverbed to be completed. However, the contractor was able to complete the riverbed portion much more quickly than anticipated, making it possible for the city to raise river levels prior to the William Wells Celebration planned for this Saturday.
The next phases of the levee repair, including adding three feet of clay to the slope and placing an anti-erosion fabric along the base, should not require the lower river levels.
Adjusting the Hosey Dam on the Maumee River will not have any effect on the level of the St. Joseph River above the St. Joe Dam at Coliseum Boulevard. The reservoir above the St. Joe Dam is one of the main locations where City Utilities stores water to supply the community with drinking water. Closing the gate at the Hosey Dam will not impact Fort Wayne’s drinking water supply. Water flow in the Maumee River downstream of the dam may be slightly decreased for the next 48 to 72 hours.
Residents with floating docks or boats moored on the St. Joe River downstream of the St. Joe Dam, on the Maumee River between the confluence and the Hosey Dam, or on the St. Mary’s River between the confluence and Foster Park should take precautions to protect their property and equipment as water levels rise.