The Kern River Valley Historical Society is celebrating over 50 years of operation! Our mission is to preserve and communicate the rich and colorful history of this region. The Kern Valley Museum in downtown Kernville, next to the Post Office, welcomes visitors to explore our rich history.

What's Happening

Anthony Burdock, Project Manager from Sacramento of the Lake Isabella Dam Modification, and Mario, an Army Corps representative stationed locally, gave us a great program to an almost full house of over 50 people.

He gave us a history of the Lake Isabella Dam and a history of how the Army Corps of Engineers discovered the weaknesses in the damn.

He explained that Lake Isabella Dam was a Class One dam on the Army Corps of Engineers Safety Action Classification List, making it a very high priority to be repaired as soon as possible.

He showed us in great detail what would happen if there was a total dam failure downstream, and how it would affect Bakersfield and Lake Isabella.

He told also us the three reasons that damn could possibly fail. He explained how they are going to repair the dam so it won’t fail in an earthquake or a maximum flood. A maximum flood would be 350,000 CFS coming into the lake. The historic flood of 1869 is estimated to have put 120,000 CFS in the Kern River. So they are building to be fail-safe for years to come.

Once they are done the Lake can be filled to its maximum capacity of 568,000+ acre feet. The current safe maximum capacity is 361,000+ acre feet. This is history in the making.

I plan on inviting them back next year for an update. 

Hal Chiprin