The Sutton Dam is a concrete-gravity structure 210 feet high, 1,178 feet long, and 195 feet wide at the base. It controls a 537 square mile drainage area, including the upper Elk River, and the Holly River. Sutton Dam was built primarily for flood control on the Elk, Kanawha, and Ohio Rivers. During periods of flooding, water is stored behind the dam, reducing the severity of flooding below the dam. Construction of the dam was completed in 1961 at a cost of $35 million. Flood damages have been reduced by more than $375 million due to flood control efforts performed by the Sutton Dam. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates and maintains the dam and project recreation facilities. Restrooms, parking, river access, and a play ground are all available at the recreation area below the dam. When you are in the area be sure to drive the half mile from Downtown Sutton to see this central West Virginian marvel of human ingenuity!