It was also in March of 1953 that the new Isabella Lake main and auxiliary dams were completed after five years of construction, and began serving Kern County and the surrounding cities with flood risk management, irrigation and hydroelectric use.
Nearly 60 years later, they continue to serve those purposes, having helped prevent flooding in downstream communities at least 18 times. But today, Isabella Lake’s dams need an upgrade. A Corps-wide survey of its dams in 2005 put Isabella Lake Dam near the top of its list of highest at-risk dams. The Corps identified significant hydrologic, seismic and seepage issues.