South Carolina Dam Owners Urged To Lower Water Levels

SCDHEC doesn’t want a repeat of previous years …

Eager to avoid a repeat of the #Floodmaggedon disaster, South Carolina environmental officials are urging owners and operators of reservoirs in the Palmetto State to “take appropriate steps to evaluate if they should begin safely lowering the water levels today and through the next several days” as powerful Hurricane Dorian approaches the coast.

Note the language … it isn’t an order.

However, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) is “highly encouraging all coastal and near coastal counties to consider lowering their water levels.”

“Owners of reservoirs with functional gates or flashboards should consider operating them to provide additional storage for the anticipated rainfall,” Jill Stewart, SCDHEC’s dam safety director said this week. “If there is a dam downstream of your dam and you are lowering your water level, please call the owner of that dam to advise him or her about what you are doing. Before and after the storm has passed, any accumulated trash and debris should be cleared from spillways.”

SCDHEC also announced plans to utilize an emergency notification system for dam owners as part of the agency’s preparations for the storm. This system would provide these owners with phone calls, text messages and emails related to developing conditions.

(Click to view)

(Via: Clemson University)

At least a dozen dams failed during Hurricane Florence in 2018 and more than 20 failed during Hurricane Matthew two years earlier, bringing the total of dam failures since the 2015 flood up to more than eighty.

Those failures have caused millions of dollars in damages …

Meanwhile, more than 150 dams monitored by the agency were reportedly in need of maintenance as of last fall.

With Dorian projected to bring significant rainfall to the state during the latter part of the week, SCDHEC is obviously not taking any chances. Hopefully dam owners will coordinate with the agency (and each other) and take the steps necessary to safeguard the public.



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