The U.S. Army Corps Engineers Philadelphia District has begun to draw down the reservoirs at Blue Marsh Lake in preparation for significant forecasted rainfall associated with remnants of Hurricane Ida.
Blue Marsh Lake is located on the Tulpehocken Creek, a tributary of the Schuylkill River, about four miles northwest of Reading. Reservoir drawdowns are being conducted to create additional flood control capacity in the reservoirs.
At Blue Marsh Lake, the reservoir will be lowered to elevation 285 ft NGVD, its normal winter elevation, down from the normal summer pool level of elevation 290 ft NGVD. Officials say the courtesy docks will remain in place during the draw down as it will only be temporary to provide increased flood storage capacity.
USACE will reevaluate day by day to determine if additional capacity is needed and additional drawdowns are warranted.
Blue Marsh Lake was constructed in 1979 and has prevented more than $100 million in flood damages in the Schuylkill River basin. Francis E. Walter Dam was constructed in 1961 and has prevented more than $245 million in flood damages.