A state water specialist recommends that a hole be punched into a north-central Iowa dam that needs to be repaired. Jon Garton of the Department of Natural Resources’ water resources section is making the recommendation that the hole be punched in the Shell Rock River dam near Rockford to relieve pressure.
The National Weather Service in August had warned the potential was there for the dam to break and Floyd County officials know the 138-year-old structure is in need of extensive repair. Garton’s report followed his inspection in September of the dam, after it was confirmed that the river had started to undercut the structure.
Garton confirmed that it was in a state of failure. The seven-foot dam was constructed in 1872 to power a grist mill located on the river. A portion of the dam is privately owned and underwent repairs six years ago.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City