ROCKFORD, IA – The National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wisconsin announced that the Rockford Mill Dam will be removed after nearly 142 years of providing service to southwest Floyd county.
Rockford, in which the Shell Rock River flows through, originally constructed the dam in 1872. Over time, the dam has suffered major damage on several occasions over its history. An assessment was conducted in 2010 stated that the dam was on the brink of failure, and would be need to be removed. Now that funding is available and multiple meetings, planning sessions, water and animal surveys, and requests for both federal and state permits have been completed, the dam is in the process of being permanently removed.
Work is expected to begin in late January with demolition and removal happening during the month of February.
Water levels are said to be lowered about a foot per day starting the week of January 27. As water levels continue to go down upstream of the dam, ice conditions will begin to be more hazardous in some places as the ice is left suspended above the retreating water surface. Below the dam, water levels may go up slightly for a time as the water is released. This is also a concern for ice downstream of the dam as well.
If you have any recreational interests along the Shell Rock River in the Rockford area, the National Weather Service in La Crosse says extreme caution is recommended. Please obey all signage and safety barricades, and stay out of construction areas.
If you would like more information, please contact Floyd County Conservation. A webcam has been setup so that you can monitor activities at the dam site. You can find this online at bridge.omnitel.biz.
Information via NWS La Crosse