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.
During the recent National Dam Safety Awareness Day observance of the 125th anniversary of the Johnstown Flood, Doug Bellomo, Director of FEMA’s Risk Analysis Division, commended Missouri dam safety chief Bob Clay and the Department of Natural Resources team that conceived and has implemented the state’s program.
“A few years ago, over 90 percent of the 466 state-regulated, high-hazard potential dams didn’t have flood inundation maps, nor did they have comprehensive Emergency Action Plans,” Bellomo noted. “Today, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has fully approved Emergency Action Plans for well over half of those dams…By the fall of this year, they will have completed the remainder of the Emergency Action Plans, and in the year following those plans will be finalized.
“With this intensive effort, Missouri has gone from being near the bottom in terms of percentage of Emergency Action Plans completed, to being the first state to meet their objective of 100 percent for High-Hazard Potential dams. So Missouri can be proud that if a high-hazard dam becomes strained in their state, emergency respondents and citizens will know what to do. Their work over the past few years will save lives and reduce flood losses.”
Video of the Johnstown ceremonies is available on FEMA’s website at www.fema.gov/dam-safety-0.
The regional honor is from the Association of State Dam Safety Officials and will be presented on September 23 during the ASDSO conference in San Diego. The Midwest Regional Award of Merit is given to those who have made outstanding contributions to dam safety.
The program was honored at the state level in October 2012. The inundation mapping and EAP team won the Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity in the category of Technology in Government. Criteria for the award include ground-breaking ideas, documentation, measurement, and achieving an ideal goal and model of quality and productivity. The winning team identifies, develops, and implements cutting-edge technology to improve services, solve problems, reduce cost, increase efficiency, extend human capabilities, and achieve better policy outcomes. The DNR program applied LiDAR and GIS technologies to create the maps for dam owners, then followed up by holding county and regional workshops to present EAP forms and the maps to the owners and their emergency managers. It is a model for other states.