FOR ALABAMA, DAM SAFETY AWARENESS DAY IS A REMINDER THERE’S NO STATE SAFETY PROGRAM

Pickensville Lock And Dam 2

Today is National Dam Safety Awareness Day, but Alabama is the only state in the country lacking a dam safety inspection program.

There are more than 2,200 dams across the state, and 90 percent of those are privately owned. Most of those have been around for longer than 30 years, and only a few have been officially inspected over the past few years.

CFM Group Engineering Services Manager Jonathan Bonner said that’s a concern.

“Some of those dams are getting very old, and there’s a risk of personal or property injuries associated with those dams if they fail,” he said.

About 200 of Alabama’s dams are considered high-risk, Bonner said. If one of those fails, he said, there would be a large amount of property damage and a high potential for lives lost.

An Alabama house bill dealing with dam safety inspections was proposed in 2014, but killed thanks to a lack of funding.

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