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Dam siren test set for Monday

A test of warning sirens that would go off in case of a failure of Hosler Dam is set for noon Monday, Oct. 8.

The four sirens run at full power for 15 seconds, followed by the announcement that “This is a test of the Hosler Dam warning system. This is only a test,” followed by a second sounding of the sirens for another 15 seconds, the city announced.

The sirens are at the Bowmer Theatre near the downtown Plaza, at the Parks Department office at the upper end of Granite Street in Lithia Park, at the Dog Park off Oak Street near the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and by Dutch Brothers coffee kiosk at 1910 Highway 99 across from Butler Ford.

Hosler Dam, a 118-foot high concrete arch dam built in 1928, holds back Reeder Reservoir on Ashland Creek, Ashland’s primary water source, about 2.8 miles upstream from downtown. When full, it holds approximately 800 acre feet of water.

Tests of the dam show it would not fail, even in a major earthquake, according to the city. If the dam did fail, the water released would take about eight minutes to reach city limits. Ashland Creek would likely flood parts of Lithia Park, portions of Granite and Nutley streets, the Ashland Plaza and Winburn Way, and cover the area between Oak and Helman streets.

A map of the area that would likely be affected by flooding is on the city website at www.ashland.or.us/Files/hosler%20dam.PDF. Approximately 450 homes are in the area.

The city tests the Hosler Dam warning sirens every three months to ensure they are working properly. The alarm system was installed to meet Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulations.

For more information, call the Ashland Public Works Department at 541-488-5587 or email ciara.marshall@ashland.or.us.

Photo courtesy of city of Ashland Water spills over Hosler Dam on Ashland Creek, about 2.8 miles upstream from the Plaza.