“…in this age of so much unpredictability and so much turmoil, we need to shift our paradigm. …we are very much focused now in the United States and around the world on relief and recovery, and not enough on preparedness and readiness,” Judith Rodin, author of “The Resilience Dividend,” said in a PBS Newshour interview broadcast earlier this week and available online. Continue reading →
Here’s still another reason why Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for High-Hazard Potential (HHP) dams are important: Warmer average temperatures can shorten the life of concrete. While earthen dams are by far the dominant structural type, many of them also have concrete spillways and other features. The National Inventory of Dams reports there are 1,979 concrete dams around the nation, 543 masonry dams, and many others with concrete components. Continue reading →
The Great ShakeOut is October 16 across the United States. There will be drills for states in the Midwest, the Southeast, California and elsewhere, including overseas. Millions of people have registered their families, schools and businesses to participate, and more are signing up.
When recent heavy rainfall in New Mexico filled a reservoir then spilled over a dam, compromising the structure and flooding homes and farmland near Las Cruces, a somewhat common problem was highlighted by a spokesperson with the Doña Ana County Flood Commission:
The recent Napa earthquake surprised only a few people in California wine country, but there may have been some nervousness about the same time in Kansas. On August 25 a little 3.0 temblor shook the ground near the southern Kansas town of Harper. No damage.
Some dam owners might be identifying painfully well with a comment by Doug Bellomo, Director of FEMA’s Risk Analysis Division, on the importance of inundation maps and Emergency Action Plans when he spoke during the recent National Dam Safety Awareness Day.
The Missouri initiative to achieve dam breach inundation maps and Emergency Action Plans on all 466 of the state-regulated High-Hazard Potential dams has made such exceptional progress that it recently has been honored twice – once at the national level and again at the regional level. This follows a 2012 state award for excellence.
Three dams in Georgia, three in Kentucky, and 31 in Texas are among 150 USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) watershed dams in 26 states that are included in new funding for rehabilitation to better protect public safety and water infrastructure.
The www.damsafetyaction.org Texas news section includes mention of a Wall Street Journal article about an important issue that should worry many Texans. A little background: Texas updated and improved its dam safety regulations a few years ago to include a requirement for Emergency Action Plans for High-Hazard Potential (HHP) and Significant-Hazard Potential (SHP) dams, where failure would likely result in the death of people.
Missouri recently had a situation that dam safety officials say is all too common. As reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, residents of 40 homes near a dam in suburban Jefferson County were under voluntary evacuation (along with moving out cattle and horses down-stream) when an earthen dam was determined to be failing.