Monday, January 11, 2010

DEP Pushing for High-Hazard Dam Signs

The state Department of Environmental Protection has increased efforts to alert residents about dams designated as "high-hazard" in areas where potential flooding dangers exist.

DEP spokesperson Helen Humphreys says the signs are posted by the dam owners in hopes of saving lives should flooding occurs. The signs mean in case flooding occurs it would endanger high populations of people downstream.

It is the dam owner's responsibility to provide signs although the inspections are done by the DEP. DEP regulates dams that have a maximum water depth of greater than 15 feet, a maximum storage capacity of fifty acre-feet or greater and impound water from a drainage area of greater than 100 acres.

In 1977 there was a flood in Johnstown where dam failure caused 85 deaths.

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