Lake Red Rock celebrates 50 year anniversary

Photo by Emma Skahill/Journal-ExpressColonel Steve Sattinger shared remarks on Lake Red Rock at the 50-year anniversary rededication ceremony.

Local community members celebrated the 50 year anniversary of Lake Red Rock with a rededication ceremony held July 13 at North Overlook Beach.

The primary function of the lake, especially the dam, is to control flooding and collect watershed.

Since its creation 50 years ago, the dam has protected over $700 million worth of flooding related damages. Coming off the wettest 12 months in the history of both Iowa and the continental United States, the dam has helped to prevent “untold million dollars worth of damage.”

This year alone, staff members have been very busy ensuring the dam has accomplished its mission of flood control. Earlier in the season, there were over 90,000 cubic feet of water entering Lake Red Rock each second, equivalent to the size of an Olympic swimming pool. The dam helped reduce flooding in local communities, as well as the Des Moines and Mississippi Rivers.

Colonel Steve Sattinger, who serves as the Commander and District Engineer of the US Army Corps of Engineers, was present at the rededication ceremony.

“I am so honored to be the Commander on the 50th anniversary of the Lake Red Rock,” he said.

Sattinger went on to recognize the “technological marvel” that is the Lake Red Rock dam, while also honoring the place and people who have helped keep the lake operational throughout its existence.

Colonel Sattinger then recognized the partners of the lake, including Knoxville, Pella and all of Marion County. He also recognized the Red Rock Lake Association, stating they are responsible for accomplishing everything that cannot be done with the Corps’ budget. Sattinger also thanked the volunteers, calling them the unsung heroes of the lake.

Before joining Bobber the Water Safety Dog to cut the cake, Sattinger gave one last thank you to the staff members at Lake Red Rock.

“I can’t tell you, as their Commander and as their District Engineer, how proud I am to be associated with them and how honored I am to work with them every single day.”

“We’re going to go ahead and say 50 years gone. Let’s go ahead and have 50 great more years,” said Sattinger. “I hope the next Commander has as much fun 50 years from now rededicating this place again for the next century as I did tonight.”

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