DHEC asks reservoir owners to ready dams for Hurricane Ian related rain

(Courtesy: SCDHEC/Twitter)

(Courtesy: SCDHEC/Twitter)

Columbia, SC (WOLO) — All eyes are on Hurricane Ian as it continues to churn gaining strength and getting closer to making landfall. Before it does, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) wants South Carolinians who own reservoirs to start getting them ready for heavy rainfall. Department officials suggest clearing debris from spillways and checking to see if water levels need to be lowered now so it can handle whatever amount of rain hits the Palmetto State.

Jill Stewart, The Director of DHEC’s Dam Safety and Stormwater Permitting Division released a statement saying,

“Owners of ponds and reservoirs with functional gates or flashboards should consider operating them to provide additional storage for the anticipated rainfall, ….In addition, coordinate any water release with other dam owners and/or property owners downstream that could be impacted. It is also important before and after the storm has passed to remove any accumulated trash and debris from spillways.”

DHEC says they plan to use their emergency notification system to keep dam owners in the loop and offer updates on needed steps to take in preparation of Hurricane Ian, via voice messages, texts and through emails. The department says property owners should stay up to date on weather conditions, and ask anyone who experiences problems like a dam failure to first contact 9-1-1, and get in touch with DHEC’s Dam Safety Program staff by calling  803-898-1939.

If you or someone you know is the owner of a dam, and need access to more suggestions on how to better prepare your property for the rain, that as of  Tuesday morning is forecasted to hit the Midlands Friday we’ve set up a link for you. Officials with DHEC have laid out plenty of resources to help you when you click  HERE to access the DHEC’s “Preparing  and Responding to Events  at Your Dam’ page.

You can stay up to date by downloading the ABC Columbia News APP  and continue to follow updates as the weather changes on air, and online on our ABC Columbia Interactive Weather Radar

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