Dam, reservoir owners, operators should monitor the development of Hurricane Ian
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 26, 2022
COLUMBIA. S.C. — As Hurricane Ian’s track narrows, the potential for impacts in South Carolina become more likely. Owners and operators of reservoirs statewide can prepare by taking proactive steps to ready their dam for potential heavy rainfall. This may include clearing debris from spillways and assessing the water level to determine if lowering the level is needed to accommodate incoming storm flows, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
"Owners of ponds and reservoirs with functional gates or flashboards should consider operating them to provide additional storage for the anticipated rainfall," said Jill Stewart, P.E., Director of DHEC’s Dam Safety and Stormwater Permitting Division. "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."
Resources to help dam owners prepare for the approaching rainfall can be found under the “Preparing and Responding to Events at Your Dam” link on DHEC’s Dam Safety Program website: scdhec.gov/dams
DHEC also plans to utilize an emergency notification system as needed to automatically notify dam owners via voice call, text messages and email to take steps in preparation for the potential for impacts from Hurricane Ian.
"Dam owners should be aware of the conditions at their dams during such events," Stewart said. "If problems develop such that 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.”