Tag Archives: Little Rock District

Beaver Lake Celebrates Golden Anniversary

Anniversary celebrations are big events for most families as they spend months planning for their cherished day.   The details in planning and the excitement of the event was no different for the Beaver Project Office personnel and community partners as they prepared for and celebrated the 50th anniversary of Beaver Lake and Dam Oct. 6.

“I’m so proud of my staff and our community partners, Beaver Water District, Beaver Lake Foundation, and Beaver Watershed Alliance, for the time, effort and donations we received,” said the Corps’ Beaver Lake Operations Project Manager Sean Harper.  “This celebration would not have been as big of a success without them.”

And a success it was.

From politicians to local stakeholders, visitors to neighbors, current and former employees, more than 275 people gathered near the dam to roast and reminiscence about the lake and recognize it for all the benefits it provides to the region.

During Beaver powerhouse open house, Oct. 6, visitors looked at photos taken when the facility was under construction. Tours were conducted after the 50th anniversary celebration. The dam and powerhouse were completed in 1966 at the cost of about 46.2 million.
During Beaver powerhouse open house, Oct. 6, visitors looked at photos taken when the facility was under construction. Tours were conducted after the 50th anniversary celebration. The dam and powerhouse were completed in 1966 at the cost of about 46.2 million.

Each of the featured speakers highlighted the lake’s long list of accomplishments, from providing more than $106.1 million in flood risk reduction, producing enough renewable electricity yearly to power 700,000 homes.  The lake provides clean water to more than 500,000 people in the region which has allowed industry to prosper while hosting more than 2 million visitors a year to its 12 parks adding millions of dollars to the local tourism economy.

Little Rock District Commander Col. Robert Dixon, keynote speaker of the celebration, not only focused on how great the Beaver Lake and project was but highlighted people like Bobby Garner and Dale Graham.  The people who built the dam and powerhouse.

“Bobby Garner has been an integral part of everything we do as a Corps and represents the Corps of Engineers most valuable asset: the great people who live and work in our communities while serving their nation by building and taking care of its infrastructure,” said Dixon.

Colonel Robert Dixon (center) poses with Dale Graham (left) and Bobby Garner (right) after the golden anniversary celebration of Beaver Lake, Oct. 6. Both Graham and Garner worked on the construction of the facilities in the early 1960s.
Colonel Robert Dixon (center) poses with Dale Graham (left) and Bobby Garner (right) after the golden anniversary celebration of Beaver Lake, Oct. 6. Both Graham and Garner worked on the construction of the facilities in the early 1960s.

To each speaker, Beaver Lake had a special significance.

Rogers High School senior Audrey Klug, Beaver Lake 50th anniversary essay winner, may have summed it up best.

“Beaver Dam has had a huge impact on the State of Arkansas, not only has it helped prevent flood damage, therefore saving money and resources but it has also given Arkansan’ more new and exciting things to do,” said Klug. “So tons of families, including mine, are out on the lake having fun while the dam is still right there, producing electricity and clean water for hundreds of thousands of people state wide.”

All of the speakers and attendees agreed, Beaver Lake has provided so much to the growth of the northwest region of the state and they all look forward to its next 50 years.

Hill named USACE Emergency Manager of the Year

Tony Hill, Chief of Emergency Management for the Little Rock District, was recently named 2015 Emergency Manager of the Year by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters.

His recognition as Emergency Manager of the Year spotlights his role as the contingency operations program manager for Little Rock District during day-to-day operations and in support of disaster response operations around the world.

Tony Hill
Tony Hill

In 2015 Hill developed a waterway incident exercise for the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System that brought approximately 82 participants together from the navigation industry, the State of Arkansas, Oklahoma, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division to initiate discussion with regard to the Water Resource Development Act 2014, Section 1024 for accepting contributions from industry during an emergency situation on the waterway. Hill directed the development of an exercise playbook for participants to include discussion points that encouraged the navigation industry to identify actions that they could take at different times during the incident to help keep the navigation system open or shorten the duration of any waterway closure. Inclusion of the legal and money people from USACE helped to clarify how contributions from industry could be accepted in accordance with the new guidance.

Hill planned, coordinated and executed major aspects of the District’s response to two flood events on the Arkansas and White rivers in 2015. The May and the December flood events both rivalled the June of 1990 event with the December flood becoming the number two flood event and May the number three flood event since the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System was established.

During both events, Hill worked diligently with Engineering and Construction and Operations Divisions and the Southwestern Division to provide meaningful briefing products so that USACE would have a good picture of what was happening in the southwestern region along with that of the rest of the country.  Several of the inputs for the briefing slides were modified to tell a better story of the ongoing flood fight.

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Hill served as the Emergency Management Subject Matter Expert on two Civil Military Emergency Preparedness events in Central Asia assisting them with building their capacity to internally manage natural and man-made disasters as well as to provide disasters assistance to other nations in their region should they be requested.

He also served on a 90-day development assignment at Headquarters USACE coordinating with FEMA on new mission assignments and development of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Corps and the Civil Air Patrol.