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Dam Operators Urged to Prepare for Storms

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Owners and operators of reservoirs throughout South Carolina should check their dams immediately and during the next several days for possible problems caused by heavy rainfall, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

“Owners who have the ability to lower their reservoir’s water level should safely do so to provide additional storage for the anticipated rainfall,” said John Poole with DHEC’s dam safety program. “If there is a dam downstream of your dam and you are lowering your water level, please contact the owners of the downstream dam and advise of your actions. Before and after the storm has passed, any accumulated trash and debris should be cleared from spillways.

“Dam owners should monitor the conditions at their dams during events that can produce flooding,” Poole said. “If problems prompt potential failure of the dam, or if failure is imminent, the owner or operator of the dam should contact the downstream property owners and local public safety officials.”

For more information about dam and reservoir safety, see DHEC’s webpage at:http://www.scdhec.gov/damsafety.