BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
The final plans are ready for a fix of the two dams at Lake Isabella and Kern River Valley.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is holding a series of public meetings, and also held a special tour of the site.
"They've listened to us from the minute that we got involved in this,"
The Corps uncovered new concerns with the two earth-filled dams back in 2006. The community's been waiting since then to see what engineers would do, and how that would affect their businesses and homes.
Engineers now plan to raise the top of both dams by 16 feet and build a "buttress" on the downstream side of the Auxiliary Dam. To construct that, they'll use materials blasted out near the Main Dam as they first build a new spillway at that facility. Plans also call for adding new drain and filter systems, and re-aligning the Borel Canal at the Auxiliary Dam.
The two dams were completed in 1953, and engineers now say they've discovered active earthquake faults in the area, they're worried about water "seeping" through, and the dams aren't high enough to prevent "over topping" in a worst-case storm event.