aired tues – May 31st is National Dam Safety Awareness Day. It marks the 122th anniversary of the 1889 South Fork Dam failure in Pennsylvania, known as the worst dam disaster in US history. The Teton Dam failed on June 5th in 1976 and caused over 2 billion dollars in damages and killed 11 people. FEMA is the promoter of the National Dam Safety Awareness Day.
Last year’s National Inventory of Dams lists more than 84,000 dams in the US including 14,000 that have been designated as high-hazard.
One more dam might be added to the list of dams in the next decade, the Susitna River dam upriver from Talkeetna and Trapper Creek
FEMAs Regional Adminstrator out of Seattle, Ken Murphy, says that dam safety issues cross local, state and national borders. He says the purpose of Dam Safety Awareness Day is to sustain the public’s interest in becoming active partners in local emergency action plans.