US Army Corps of Engineers
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USACE Buffalo District releases FY20 Flood Damage Reduction Report

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Published March 4, 2021
Mount Morris Dam during a foggy moring

Built for $25 million, the Mount Morris Dam, located at the northern end of Letchworth State Park in New York, has prevented a cumulative $3.6 billion in catastrophic flood damage since dam operations began in 1952. (Photo by Steve Winslow, manager of Mount Morris Dam and Recreation Area, Buffalo District)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District flood damage reduction projects prevented $137.9 million of flood damage in New York and Ohio during Fiscal Year 2020 and prevented approximately $4.25 billion in cumulative damages over the life span of the projects.

The figures were part of the FY20 Annual Flood Damage Reduction Report, which includes data on damage avoided by the district’s reservoir, levee, and emergency operation projects. 

“These numbers showcase the long-term return on investment of flood damage reduction projects, which serve to protect the communities from devastating flooding,” said Dave Conboy, Chief of the Technical Services Division, Buffalo District. “These projects help prevent loss of life and injuries while also protecting critical infrastructure from water damage. The flood reduction measures protect the economy by keeping businesses from closing their shops due to water damage. It’s important to note that while these projects reduce flooding, they do not completely prevent flooding, so we work closely with local stakeholders to ensure flood risks are understood and mitigated to the extent possible.”

In New York, flood damage reduction projects prevented $131.7 million in FY20 and $4.1 billion over the life span of the projects.

  • Reservoirs prevented $116.1 million in flood damage in FY20 and $3.73 billion over the life span of the projects.
  • Levee and local flood protection projects prevented $15.46 million in FY20 in damage and $371.3 million over the life span of the projects.
  • Emergency operations saved $90,300 in damage in FY20 and $1.5 million over the life span of the projects.

The Mount Morris Dam, located in the Genesee River Gorge at the northern end of Letchworth State Park, New York, provides the largest return investment for reservoir projects. Built in 1952 for approximately $25 million, the dam has prevented $3.6 billion in catastrophic flood damage over the life span of the project.  

Ohio projects prevented $6.25 million in flood damage in FY20 and $1.4 million over the life span of the projects.

  • Levee and local flood protection projects prevented $5.7 million in FY20 in damage and $135.72 million over the life span of the projects.
  • Emergency operations saved $524,200 in damage and $4.75 million over the life span of the projects.

The report is prepared yearly in response to House Committee Report 98-217, Energy and Water Development Appropriation Act of 1984.


Contact
Susan Blair
716.799.2618
susan.a.blair@usace.army.mil
1776 Niagara Street

Release no. 21-004