Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Cat vs. USACE Roush Dam near Huntington, IN

Michael Matalis shared WGN post
It pays to have nine lives.
[I put a rectangle around the cat in this screenshot of its slide down to the USACE worker in the boat.]

Huntington Sheriff Department, cropped plus Paint
Tracey Tribolet Who and how in the world did someone see that cat?
Chris Newton Tracey Tribolet , it was LOUD...!!!
[The red rectangle is my guess as to where it is when this photo was taken. You can see in the video below that it moved further to the right before it slid down the spillway.]

Huntington Sheriff Department
Good deed:
Today, Sheriff Newton received a phone call from a individual that was fishing at the spillway off of State Road 5, in regards to a cat that had become stranded on the spillway.
In the one picture you can see the cat in the very center. It is unknown how the animal got there, as there is no way to access that area, it is possible it had fallen off of SR 5 or was thrown off.
The cat was clearly in distress and retreated to the very top of the spillway area and lodged itself in the metal structure. There was not anyway to gain access to the animal, short of taking a boat out and hoping we could coax it down. It was decided it was worth a shot to attempt the help the cat versus doing nothing.
The Army Corp of engineers were on the scene and advised that they would get a boat and get permission to shut the flow of water off in an attempt to get the animal.
About an hour later they were able to shut the water off and launch the boat. When the boat reached the concrete spillway, the cat came out of the structure it was hiding in at the top, and slid the entire way down and the rescuers were able to grab it before it hit the water.
Heidi Greving-Stutvoet Mr. Vanjie is safe and sound! He has been missing for almost 2 weeks. I’d truly like to thank the Huntington County Sheriff Department and the rescuers from the Army Corp of Engineers who saved our beloved cat!
He is an inside-outside cat we took in when he landed on our doorstep a little over a year ago. We are very thankful to have him home! He is exhausted!
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Evidently the USACE web site does not contain photos of each of the dams it is responsible for. After spending some time trying to find info on this map on their site, I took a closer look with Google Maps. I accidentally got too close, and it switched into Street View.
Street View
That was good because I then saw the name Roush. Searching the USACE site with that name gave me hits on the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Annual Reports. The entry for this dam:
Name:  J. Edward Roush
River Basin:  Ohio
Stream:  Wabash
Community in Vicinity:  Huntington
Cal. Year Placed in Useful OP:  1968
Total Storage (Acre-Ft.):  153,100
Permanent Pool (Acreage):  500
Project Functions:  FRWQ
Type:  Earth & Concrete
Height (Feet):  91
Length (Feet):  6,500
I could not find a definition of the project function codes in the 2009 Appendix A. But Appendix E defines:
F:  Flood Control
R:  Public Recreation Annual Attendance exceeding 5,000
W:  Fish & Wildlife (Federal Or State)
I still don't know what Q means.

Fortunately, I later found the photo at the top taken by a sheriff that shows the spillway. I was surprised when the video said the cat was 50-75 feet above the water. I din't think Indiana was that hilly in that area.

I assume the "Idle Zone" is what gets filled between the Winter and Summer levels. The white area is what would be flooded if the reservoir was ever filled to capacity.
.pdf from IndianaOutfitters
.pdf from IndianaOutfitters
J McNeely
I see on Google Maps that the white area on the above map is green on the road map. Switching to the satellite image, the area is now mostly trees. It contains just parking lots and recreational facilities that could rather easily recover from being flooded. Except for the Wabash Church, But switching back to the road map, that is built on a rectangle of white instead of green. So they must have first built a hill, and then built the building with no basement. Sure enough, looking at some photos of the church, you can see the land slopes up around its perimeter. I wonder how often the water level has come up over their cemetery.

Starting at 0:20, this video shows the "outlet" that required about an hour to get permission to turn off so that the boat could approach the spillway.
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