Kinzua Dam & Allegheny Reservoir

$1.3 Billion

Pittsburgh District
Published Jan. 10, 2024

Authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938, Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir is one of 16 flood control projects in the Pittsburgh District. The project provides complete protection for Warren, PA, from Allegheny River flooding, and in conjunction with other projects in the district, substantially reduced flooding in the Allegheny and upper Ohio River valleys.

The project’s flood control capabilities were dramatically demonstrated during the June 1972 floods resulting from Tropical Storm Agnes when an estimated $247 million in flood damages were prevented. Since its completion in 1965, Kinzua has prevented flood damages estimated to be in excess of $1.2 billion.

The reservoir also provides water to be released during dry periods. These releases have the effect of reducing pollution and improving the quality and quantity of water for domestic, industrial and recreation uses. Flow regulation also helps to maintain navigable depths for commercial traffic on the Allegheny and upper Ohio Rivers.

Another benefit of the Kinzua project is hydroelectric power. A power plant is operated by the First Energy Corporation. Its peak capacity is 400,000 kilowatts per hour. The Big Bend Visitor Center contains displays which illustrate the hydroelectric process.