The Shell Rock River flows through the southwest corner of Floyd County, Iowa, and through the community of Rockford. Originally constructed back in about 1872, the Rockford Mill Dam has suffered damage on several occasions over its long history. Most recently, damage in 2010 led to an assessment that the dam was in a state of failure, and that it would need to be removed. The search began to secure funding for removal of the structure, both for safety concerns, and also for the improvement of recreational activities along a 68-mile stretch of the river in this area.
After many public meetings, planning sessions, water and animal surveys, and acquiring the needed Federal and State permits, the dam is now being permanantly removed.
Work began in late January, and will continue with the demolition and total removal of the dam structure during the month of February.
Water levels above the dam will be lowered by about a foot per day starting during the week of January 27th. As water levels go down upstream of the dam, ice conditions may become unsafe in some places as the ice is left suspended above the retreating water surface. Below the dam, water levels may go up slightly for a time as the water is released. This may also cause ice concerns downstream of the dam as well.
Those with recreational interests along the Shell Rock River in the Rockford area are urged to excercise extreme caution. Please obey all signage and safety barricades, and stay out of construction areas.