DHEC: Stay Alert for rising water, owners of dams lower water levels in preparation for Florence

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)–The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental control is reminding owners and operators of reservoirs statewide to check their dams and take appropriate steps to safely lower water levels.

DHEC says the water levels should be lowered through the next several days in preparation for potential impact from Hurricane Florence.

Emergency officials say Hurricane force winds can topple trees causing large voids where trees are uprooted. Loss of soil from a dam can impact its structural integrity and can provide a path for water from the pond to exit in an un-controlled manner. This condition may lead to failure, say officials.

“Owners of reservoirs with functional gates or flashboards should consider operating them to provide additional storage for the anticipated rainfall,” said Jill Stewart, Director of DHEC’s Dam Safety and Stormwater Permitting Division. “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.”

“Staying alert for rising waters that may continue even after the rain has ended is important,” said Stewart. “Dam owners should be aware of the conditions at their dams during such events. If problems develop such that failure of the dam might be imminent, the owner or operator of the dam should contact local public safety officials, downstream property owners and DHEC Dam Safety Program staff at 803-898-1939.”

Categories: Local News, News