BERLIN TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Recent heavy rains have caused more than just high water along the Ohio River. Water levels are rising at local lakes and reservoirs.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains Berlin Reservoir, opened all six of the release jets on the dam Monday to help bring the lake level back down.
The lake reached a high of almost 1,028 feet, about 3 feet above the level the lake usually reaches during summer months, frequently called “summer pool.”
The level this time of the year is usually around 1,016 feet.
‘I’ve been around here living for 33 years, and I really haven’t seen it this high. It’s a little scary, man. A lot of water here,” said Chip Copus of Streetsboro.
Berlin Lake Resource Manager Chuck Opet said there are 2,400 cubic feet of water going out every second, about enough to fill up a backyard swimming pool for each of those seconds. The water is flowing north toward Lake Milton.
Normally this time of year, the Berlin Dam releases between 90 to 200 cubic feet of water per second.
“We are releasing our flood waters into Milton. Milton is not releasing it yet because they are below summer pool,” Opet said.
Lake Milton was recorded at 943 feet, which is 5 feet below “summer pool” level.
Water from both lakes flows into the Mahoning River and then downstream into the Beaver and the Ohio rivers. Since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s mission is flood control, workers need to make sure water is receding from already flooded areas like Leavittsburg before more is released.
“We are always looking at our downstream concerns and making sure that we are not adding to the water that’s down below,” Opet said.
The jets will remain open until the water level in the lake returns to normal.