When rains of significant magnitude affect northeastern Oklahoma, GRDA works closely with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to control the heavy flows of water along the Grand River system.
In the Flood Control Act of 1944, the United States Congress mandated that the Corps of Engineers direct the operations of GRDA’s Pensacola Dam and Robert S. Kerr Dam for flood control. The Corps orders release rates that are consistent with downstream conditions and projected river crests. All the lakes along Grand River, in the Arkansas River system, are operated to minimize downstream flooding, including Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Lake Hudson and Fort Gibson Lake. When water levels exceed or are anticipated to exceed 745 feet on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, the Corps of Engineers takes control and determines how much water is released through the floodgates.
Once the level of Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees drops to 745 feet, the Grand River Dam Authority once again assumes control over releases.