When rains of significant magnitude affect northeastern Oklahoma, GRDA works closely with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) 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.




US Army Corp of Engineers Water control for grand-neosho river basin
Safety First Around Our Dams

Safety around its hydroelectric facilities is a top priority for the Grand River Dam Authority. Signs, buoys, sirens, fencing and flashing lights are all intended to notify those in the area when floodgates are open, generators are operating or water is rising swiftly.

Posted at GRDA hydroelectric facility (Pensacola Dam, Robert S. Kerr Dam, and the Salina Pumped Storage Project) to warn of extreme danger in floodgate areas. Please be aware of other signs near GRDA facilities that notify you of no trespassing areas, no diving areas or unstable footing.

Red buoys and cabling above and below spillway gates and the hydroelectric powerhouse restrict access to dangerous areas associated with power generation or floodgate releases.

Flashing Lights
At hydroelectric facilities, the flashing lights are initiated when floodgates are opened or generation is initiated.

In place to identify borders and to restrict access to certain areas near the hydroelectric facilities.

These are located at various locations on the hydroelectric facilities and are utilized prior to the operation of hydroelectric generators and/or floodgates.

Grand Lake Lighthouses
As navigational aids, several lighthouses are located on Grand Lake, around the shoreline and in areas of shallow water.  The Grand River Dam Authority has an ongoing maintenance program in place to ensure the lighthouses are functioning properly.

If you have concerns regarding the lighthouses on Grand Lake, please contact GRDA at 918-256-0644.