Harmony Junction Dam Removal in Jackson Township, Butler County

Category: Local Preparedness/Mitigation

Point of Contact: Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy, lh-segedy@americanrivers.org

Project Description: American Rivers partnered with Wild Waterways, Inc. to remove the abandoned Harmony Junction Dam in Jackson Township, Butler County for public safety, water trail access, fish passage for river resident species, and flood risk reduction. Previously, 43 residences participated in an acquisition project after flooding from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The dam was removed in June 2009. Approximately one year later, Jackson Township was notified by FEMA that the dam removal had resulted in decreased the flood-prone area and invited the community to redraw their FIRM to reflect changes. Two flood events have occurred since dam removal, with media reporting the flood intensity equal to Hurricane Ivan. Visual observation at the crests of these two events indicated that the dam-out flood levels are significantly lower than flooding experienced during the 2004 event.

Issues Encountered: Local anglers voiced opposition about the removal of the dam up to and during deconstruction, concerned that it would ruin their fishing hole. However, after the dam was taken out, anglers provided anecdotes that fishing was either unchanged or better.

Funding Stream(s): 100% of project funding was provided by foundations.

Floodplain Management and
Mitigation Success Stories

Drainage Improvements and Floodplain Enhancements
Dauphin County -Township of Derry Drainage Improvements

Emergency Management/Planning
Luzerne County - Wyoming Valley Emergency Action Plan

Emergency Management/Warning Notification
Northumberland County - Sunbury Flood Operations Center

Flood Risk Management
Columbia County - Flood Risk Management project for Kawneer Company, Inc.
Northumberland County - Sunbury Flood Risk Management System
Columbia County - Bloomsburg Airport Elevation
Columbia County - Design and Construction of a Flood Control System for Autoneum North America, Inc. and the Windsor Woods facility
Montour County - Danville Area Middle School

Hazard Mitigation
Venango County - Oil City Ice Boom

Local Preparedness
Allegheny County - Etna Borough Municipal Building Floodproofing
Blair County - City of Altoona Community Rating System (CRS) Program

Local Preparedness/Mitigation
Butler County - Harmony Junction Dam Removal, Connoquenessing Creek, Jackson Township
Mercer County - Cunningham Memorial Dam Removal, Grove City
Dauphin County - Stage Inundation Map Library for the Susquehanna River at Harrisburg
Union County - Acquisition and Demolition of Ten Flood Prone Properties located on South Sixth Street in the Borough of Lewisburg

Local Preparedness/Warning Notification
Cameron County - Outdoor Siren Warning System at the George B Stevenson Dam

Spatial Data Survey of 67 counties

Risk Communication/Outreach
Pennsylvania Silver Jackets’ Flood Risk Management Resources Website