Ceremony, Tours Highlight Eagle Canyon Dam Completion

News Release


Mar 04

Ceremony, Tours Highlight Eagle Canyon Dam Completion

CATHEDRAL CITY – Supervisor John J. Benoit and the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District invite the public to join them on a special tour of the dam and newly completed storm drain system that protects Cathedral City from heavy storm runoff.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Eagle Canyon Dam and Line 43/43A will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, March 10.

Attendees should drive to the intersection of Canyon Plaza Drive and Via Allegro in Cathedral City, and follow the signs and/or attendant to be directed to the parking area. From there, attendees will be shuttled up to the event site.

“We are fortunate to have the Eagle Canyon Dam in place to prevent the kind of damage we’ve had in the past with flooded businesses, mud-blocked streets, and road closures during heavy downpours,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “I hope you can join us to see the features of this crucial flood protection system for residents and businesses in Cathedral City.”

Prior to the construction of Eagle Canyon Dam, desert thunderstorms over the Eagle Canyon foothills produced flash floods that sent water, sediment and debris down the canyon and into the streets. Businesses on East Palm Canyon Drive experienced heavy flooding in July 2008 and August 2012.

The Eagle Canyon Dam and Debris Basin 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.

“It was a process that took decades to obtain the local funds and the needed approvals,” said Bob Cullen, chief of design and construction at Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District. “It’s not often that a project of this magnitude is built in our county.”

Construction of the $10.6 million dam began in May 2013. The dam became functional in June 2014 and was completed in September 2015. This project also included $1.2 million in environmental clean-up, funded by the cities of Palm Springs and Cathedral City at this long blighted location.

The newly completed Line 43/43A is the outlet for Eagle Canyon Dam. The project installed approximately 3,900 feet of underground storm drain. The underground storm drain system conveys flows from Eagle Canyon Dam underneath East Palm Canyon Drive and into the flood district’s North Cathedral Canyon Channel, keeping water from flowing into the street and impacting businesses and residents.

Line 43, a $5 million project, began construction in April 2015 and was completed in February.

With the completion of both projects, the district can revise the FEMA flood insurance rate maps in the local area immediately downstream of the dam, which, in turn, may reduce flood insurance premiums.

Light refreshments will be provided and a guided tour will be available after the ceremony. To RSVP, visit Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/eagle-canyon-dam-ribbon-cutting-registration-21321831171.

73-710 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 222, Palm Desert, CA 92260 | Phone: 760-863-8211 • Fax: 760-863-8905