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Upper Red Rock Dam Number 52

Upper Red Rock Dam Construction Almost Complete

Construction of Upper Red Rock Creek Watershed Dam No. 52 is about 95 percent complete, according to Tom Imgarten, Noble County Conservation District Chairman.
The new dam, located about 15 miles northwest of Perry and two miles west of Interstate Highway 35 will provide flood protection for agricultural land and for I-35. It is estimated that the dam will provide $427,000 in annual benefits. “I-35 has been closed by flood water in the last few years and with this dam in place that should never happen again,” said Imgarten.

Construction of the earthen dam has been completed and final touches are being made on the principal spillway, which is a concrete tower in front of the dam connected to a pipe going through the dam. Riprap rock is being placed on the front slope of the dam and around the outlet pipe downstream.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is constructing the dam under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program. It will be one of 2,105 watershed dams constructed in Oklahoma since 1948. These dams provide $71 million in annual benefits in 121 watersheds across the state. While most of the dams have been built primarily for flood protection and sediment control, they also provide fish and wildlife habitat, recreational areas, and many also are used for livestock and irrigation water. Forty-two of the dams are multipurpose structures that provide municipal water supplies and public recreation areas. Upper Red Rock Creek Dam 52 is one of the larger dams built in recent years in Oklahoma under the Watershed Program and will create a 95-acre lake. The dam will have a drainage area of 5,766 acres and store 2,600 acre-feet of water.

The Red Rock Conservancy District and the Noble County and Garfield County Conservation Districts are sponsors of the Upper Red Rock Creek Watershed Project. The conservancy district purchased the land over a period of years for the dam construction. This will be the 43rd dam built in the watershed (18 in Noble County and 25 in Garfield County) since local people formed the watershed project in1960. There are 13 more dams planned for construction in the watershed. The sponsors will provide operation and maintenance of the dam.

At a groundbreaking ceremony for the new dam last October, H. B. Evans, a local resident, shared his experiences in helping rescue nine families along Red Rock Creek by boat after a flood in 1957. The 1957 flood caused over one million dollars in damages to land and property of 126 landowners living in the watershed. It was considered the motivating force for local people to contribute money and their energy in developing the flood control project.