The recent evacuation of almost 200,000 folks in Butte, Yuba and Sutter Counties in California because of the risks to the Oroville Dam there highlights a huge potential problem in the US.
According to the National Inventory of Dams, there are over 27,000 dams in the US rated as having either high or significant damage potential. And most dams are more than 50 years old.
In California, more than 100 dams are listed as being in fair or poor condition. And according to the National Inventory of Dams, almost 100 dams in California have never been inspected.
In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers rated US dams with a grade of “D”. A new report is due out in early March. Will it show any better grade four years later?
Emergency notification systems are a critical tool in getting the word out on evacuation orders. So if you live downstream from a dam – any dam – it’s time to sign up for emergency alerts!