Hocking Conservancy District Court

September 24, 2020 Hocking Conservancy District Court Hearing Summary by Judge McCarthy

Annually the Hocking Conservancy Court  holds a meeting for the Hocking Conservancy District (HCD) and Margaret Creek Conservancy District (MCCD).  Judge John Wallace (Hocking County Common Pleas Court), Judge Patrick Lang (Athens Common Pleas Court) and Judge George McCarthy (Athens Common Pleas Court) sit together as the Hocking Conservancy Court which acts as a type of oversight over the activities of the Board pursuant to statute as the conservancy serves both Hocking and Athens Counties. 

The Court met September 24, 2020 to discuss the 2019 Annual Fiscal Report on the efforts of the Hocking Conservancy District (HCD) and Margaret Creek Conservancy District.

 The HCD has been busy remediating dams within the district as well as dredging efforts and flood mitigation during heavy rain events. The goal of the HCD is protect lives and property within the watershed.  HCD works to minimize and if possible, eliminate flood damage potential through available resources through managing the waters of the Hocking River Watershed.  The HCD was established in 1963. 

Historically in the 1964 the flood that damaged Ohio University 1400 OU students were evacuated and 200 residents in Logan were evacuated with damaged estimated at $2.137 million.

In 2019 HCD efforts resulted in a projected $2.5 million in savings of property damage and potential loss of life.

Since HCD measures were instituted in 1970, the estimated prevention in flood damage is $184.7 million to property in addition to potentially saving lives.

At today’s meeting Alex Tyre was installed as a Board of Directors member for the term beginning December 19, 2020. Abigail Savings serves as President and Timothy Warren serves as Vice-President.  Mark Holdcroft serves as Secretary Treasurer.  Nancy Ross is the Administrative Secretary.  Earl Goodin, Thomas Gould and Jimmy Wallace are Operators and Maintenance personnel. The Board of Directors held twelve monthly meetings in the preceding year at 560 W. Union Street, Athens, Ohio which are open to the public.

Some interesting facts from the HCD meeting concerning our area include:

  • That in Athens County the highest watermark was 22.08 feet on 2/9/2019 which was 2.8 feet above flood stage. Rainfall for 2019 was above normal at 47.36 inches which is 8.32 inches above normal.  
  • The most rainfall recorded was in 2018 at 56.02 inches and water crested at 22.52 feet during a rainfall event.
  • In 2019 the HCD dredged (removed) approximately 8,329 cubic yards of material from the  sandbar located near the Pepsi Plant in Athens.
  • Since 2008 the HCD has removed about 135,998 cubic yards of material from the river from the Pepsi Plant area down past the golf course.  This helps with flood mitigation efforts.  But the river continues to make deposits in these areas which then continually need addressed.
  • The most snow recorded was 2003 with 42.03 inches.
  • The most total precipitation recorded was in 2003 with a total of 85.90 inches (1996 was second at 83.50 inches).
  • Since 1970  through 2019 HCD mitigation efforts including use of flood pumps resulted in a prevention of an estimated $185 million in property damage and possible loss of life.
  • The top ten years of precipitation (out of 27 recorded) have all occurred since 2002 (with the exception of 1996).
  • The Margaret Creek Conservancy District (MCCD) inspected and in part due to government reclassification of some of the dams, remediating is being implemented were needed.   Meeks Lake, Fox Lake, Texas-Eastern Lake, Johnson French Lake and Lake Snowden are the lakes reviewed by the MCCD.

The full report may be obtained by contacting the Hocking Conservancy District.


Judge George McCarthy