You can't predict, but you can prepare.

Do You Live, Work or Play Downstream From a Dam?

Do You Live, Work or Play Downstream From a Dam?

Mar 16, 2011

The probablility of a dam breach may seem remote, but even well-maintained and frequently inspected dams can develop sudden problems, especially under the stress of heavy rains.

You may be surprised to know that you are a stakeholder in dam safety. Stakeholders are citizens, business owners, and recreationists in harm’s way at times, often without realizing it. Do you like to swim or fish in a North Carolina lake? Like to hunt in areas below or near a dam? Like to RV or camp out along the shores of a lake? Enjoy canoeing a stream below a dam? Do you farm land or have livestock in a floodplain? Do you manage a nursing home, hospital or school in an area below a dam? Are you an emergency responder? Do you volunteer for the Red Cross or Salvation Army? Do you regularly need to travel across or have access to an area below a dam?

Currently more than 800 North Carolina dams classified as High-Hazard Potential (HHP) do not have Emergency Action Plans (EAPs). Unfortunately, there are no state regulations or laws requiring dam owners to complete EAPs unless the dam is new construction or in some cases undergoing repairs.

In North Carolina, dam safety officials categorize dams according to the potential hazard risk to lives and property should the dam fail. A High-Hazard Potential (HHP) dam is one whose failure likely would take lives as well as property. An EAP may save lives and property damage through timely evacuations of those who live, work, or enjoy recreation near a HHP dam. Timely warnings triggered by an EAP could help business owners remove key assets necessary to mitigate loss of income and capital investment important to themselves and their employees.

It all boils down to: Do you know your surroundings? BE INFORMED!

There are 220 dams in Forsyth County alone! List of Forsyth County dams: ForsythCountyDAMS_Sept2013

More information can be found in the following brochures:



Other useful websites:

North Carolina

North Carolina Dam Safety Program (This website contains a complete list of all the dams in NC)

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