COLUMBIA, S.C. — State officials are asking dam owners and operators to check their dams and lower water levels over the next few days in preparation for potential problems caused by heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sally.
"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 the Dam Safety and Stormwater Permitting Division at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
"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."
DHEC says it has performed pre-hurricane season assessments of all dams of concern.
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 page.
The agency says it also plans to use 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 Sally.
"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 contact local public safety officials, downstream property owners and DHEC Dam Safety Program staff at 803-898-01939."