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Sinkhole Near Tuttle Creek Dam

KSAL Staff - July 10, 2015 3:33 pm

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reduced flows from Tuttle Creek Lake since a 15-foot sinkhole was found near the lake.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reduced flows from Tuttle Creek Lake since a 15-foot sinkhole was found near the lake.

A large sinkhole that has developed near the Tuttle Creek Dam has the attention of officials. According to the  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, they are monitoring and evaluating a non-emergency condition that occurred below Tuttle Creek Dam at approximately 5:00 Thursday evening when a sinkhole developed.

The sinkhole is adjacent to the stilling basin, also known as “the tubes,” and is the result of the sustained high water releases from the dam due to recent rainfall events in the watershed. District hydrologists modified the release plan for Tuttle Creek to release water from gate 1 on the west side of the dam and temporarily close gates on the east side.

The sinkhole, which is about 15 feet in diameter and 8 feet deep, eroded from approximately 5:00-6:30 p.m. and stabilized when the releases ended on the east side of the dam. The sinkhole remains stable and the lake staff is monitoring the area. There is a barricade around the sinkhole and a beam and fencing placed over the opening.

As a safety precaution for the public, the Corps closed the public access area near the sinkhole to pedestrians and vehicles until further notice.

The development of the sinkhole below the dam does not affect the integrity of the dam or the stilling basin wall. Tuttle Creek Dam continues to function as designed and poses no threat to public safety. Once the sinkhole appeared, Corps personnel followed procedures and immediately notified local and state authorities to ensure public safety.

Releases continue from the stilling basin on the opposite side.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff is evaluating repair options for the damaged area.

City of Salina