Eagle Canyon Dam Provides Flood Protection to Cathedral City
CATHEDRAL CITY – The Coachella Valley has a new dam and debris basin to protect residents and businesses, especially those on East Palm Canyon Drive in Cathedral City, when flash floods hit the region.
The Eagle Canyon Dam and Debris Basin became functional in June, although completion of the overall project isn’t expected until next year.
Prior to construction of the dam, desert thunderstorms over the Eagle Canyon foothills produced flash floods that sent water, sediment and debris down the canyon and into the streets.
“The Eagle Canyon Dam helps prevent the kind of damage we’ve seen with flooded businesses, mud-blocked streets and road closures during heavy downpours,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “It is a huge relief that Eagle Canyon Dam is ready to get us through the monsoonal storm season safely.”
Businesses on East Palm Canyon Drive experienced heavy flooding in July 2008 and August 2012.
“We are grateful to Supervisor Benoit for his continued leadership in getting this crucial flood protection in place,” said Cathedral City Mayor Kathy DeRosa. “It has been a long process but we are thankful to Supervisor Benoit and the Riverside County Flood Control District for their tremendous support of Cathedral City throughout this project.”
The Eagle Canyon Dam is designed to hold 185 acre-feet of water and 14 acre-feet of debris. The dam provides protection from a 100-year flood event in which the peak inflow rate of water is 720,000 gallons per minute, equivalent to filling 50 swimming pools per minute.
Construction of the $9.8 million project began in May 2013. The emergency spillway and its outfall still remain to be completed, as well as some accessory work. Completion of the dam is expected in the first quarter of 2015.
An additional project is Line 43, an underground storm drain system that will serve as the outlet for Eagle Canyon Dam and provide drainage for the local area downstream of the dam. The duration of construction is estimated to be 10 months.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved advertising bids for Line 43. The Riverside County Flood Control District will accept sealed proposals for construction at the flood control office until 2 p.m. Sept. 4, 2014. The specifications and contract documents will be available for contractors to examine at the district’s office in Riverside, 1995 Market St.