The building of the Burnsville Dam and Lake in 1976 has lessened flooding down the Little Kanawha River, although a few times, with heavy rains, Glenville, Grantsville and Elizabeth have experienced flooding.
The Burnsville project for both a recreation and flood control,was first authorized by the U.S. Congress in the Flood Control Act of 1938.
Also in that 1938 authorization was a likewise project on the West Fork of the Little Kanawha above Creston. Though heavily studied, it was never built.
See CALHOUN'S $30 MILLION 'WEST FORK LAKE' NEVER HAPPENED - What If It Had Happened?
The Burnsville lake project controls the runoff from a drainage area of 165 square miles.
The dam is a rock-fill embankment dam rising 84.5 feet above the stream-bed. A gated spillway is located in the left abutment. The outlet works are located in the spillway section.
The minimum pool is maintained with a surface area of 550 acres (223 and the summer pool has a surface area of 968 acres.
Many people in Burnsville and surrounding communities opposed the building of the dam since the back waters would flood areas currently occupied and locations of ancestral homes.
Cemeteries had to be moved and residents had to relocate. Once the dam was built, there was no recreation area for local residents instead residents of Burnsville had to travel to Bulltown.