A LITTLE DAM THAT ISN'T--
Just a bit Southwest of Funk in Ashland County is a little dam that isn't. Well most of the time it isn't; doing much damming, that is.
...as in impounding the flow of water.
The dam's official name is Mohicanville and most of the time it just sits there; a nicely maintained, elongated earthen structure 46 feet high and 1,200 feet long with a concrete spillway that is hardly visible from the nearby county road.
It is a dry dam. I has no permanent pool of water behind it. A small stream known as the Lake Fork usually flows freely through the dam and goes merrily on its way until it joins the Mohican River Southeast of Loudonville.
But the Lake Fork is just one of nearly countless little streams that flow into the 271 square mile watershed behind the Mohicanville Dam.
And, in wet times like those recently around here that can involve a whopping amount of water.
Consequently, the US Army Corps of Engineers built this dam in 1935, just one of many in this part of Ohio designed and operated to help control flood water.
At maximum pool level, this dam could be holding back 31 feet of water depth and inundating 8,800 acres of land upstream; later releasing it very slowly to help control flooding downstream.
In the top photo you can see the water pooling behind the dam to the left. On the day this picture was taken the dam was holding back about 19 feet of water depth. The dam's outflow that day was 1,342 cubic feet of water per second.
The dam's maximum discharge is 20,500 cubic feet per second. So, comparing these numbers you can see the dam was working nicely to help downstream folks.
This also creates some inconvenience upstream like the road closed in the lower photo. It is Township Road 2250 and it is under almost 2 feet of water; just temporarily, of course. (Inset photo)
The dam's spillway elevation is 963 feet above sea level. So, there is a topographical contour line at that elevation encompassing the entire 8,800 acres upstream within which there should be no structures subject to damage from the periodic flooding.