News Releases

News Releases

Dam and reservoir owner-operators should monitor potential weather impacts from Hurricane Idalia

Aug. 29, 2023

COLUMBIA. S.C. — As Hurricane Idalia is expected to have weather impacts on South Carolina this week, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) advises dam and reservoir owner-operators to take proactive steps to prepare for potentially severe weather. 

Dam and reservoir owner-operators should clear debris from spillways and assess their water levels to determine whether lowering the water level is needed ahead of the storm.

"Owners of ponds and reservoirs with functional gates or flashboards should consider operating them at lower levels in order to provide additional storage for heavy rainfall and storm flows," said Jill Stewart, P.E., Director of DHEC’s Dam Safety and Stormwater Permitting Division. "In addition, owners and operators are advised to coordinate any water release with other dam owners or property owners downstream that could be impacted. It’s also important before and after a storm has passed to remove any accumulated trash and debris from spillways."

Resources to help dam and reservoir owners prepare for severe weather can be found on DHEC’s Dam Safety Program website,

DHEC’s Dam Safety Program also plans to utilize an emergency notification system as needed to automatically notify dam owners via voice call, text messages and email of the steps to take in preparation for potential impacts from Idalia.

"Dam owners should be aware of the conditions at their dams during severe weather events," Stewart said. "If problems develop to a point where failure of the dam might be imminent, the owner or operator of the dam should first call 911, then contact downstream property owners and DHEC Dam Safety Program staff at 803-898-1939.”

For the latest information about Hurricane Idalia, visit the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (EMD) website at, download EMD’s free mobile app, and listen to local news outlets. 



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