Author Topic: Even well maintained dams are dangerous  (Read 140 times)

Doug K

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Even well maintained dams are dangerous
« on: December 27, 2019, 01:05:15 pm »
It wonít happen here!

We donít have a problem.

There is no Safety Issue on the Erie Canal.

The Canal Corporation is Fear mongering.

All of the the Dam Experts are wrong.

Iíve heard all these comments over the past couple of years, as we have lived in limbo thanks to a few people who think trees are more important than peoples lives. They slowed up the Canal Corporationís Earthen Embankment Integrity Project and everyone living west of the canal in Fairport, have been put in danger of flood by this small group opposing Canal Safety Work. Our 60 feet high Earthen Embankment Dam, (the Ďhillí you live beside) has been designated a High Hazard risk dam by Dam Engineers. All that is needed is a really good rain storm, a spillway to clog with a log, and the canal could flood over the top, causing a breach and releasing 200 million gallons of water onto Jefferson Ave, Crystal Springs residents.

Thankfully, the NYS Canal Corporation is now preparing to finally clear away the vegetation that is hindering inspections and vital repairs will be made to a very neglected dam that had no maintenance done in seventy years or more. I think youíll find work will commence shortly after the winter weather has declined. This summer we will see a canal with cleared embankments and a fully restored embankment is still a couple years away. Regular inspections using drones will commence after that, and we can all rest, assured of Erie Canal Embankment safety at last.

Here have been two earthen dams that have collapsed in the past week... and I bet ALL of those people thought "It won't happen here either".

South Carolina Flooding: Dam Breach, Triggers Full Scale Evacuation. Nine drowned... NBC News

Here's another story from across the Ocean, another dam breach on the verge of collapse

Thousands evacuated after part of dam collapses in England...NBC News

Here are two website hosted by the Erie Canal Neighbor's Association for facts, articles & postings about Erie Canal Embankment Integrity & Overall Earthen Dam Safety. Feel free to join in the conversation or get an education on Embankment Dam Safety & how this is a BIG problem in NY State right now... and not just on the Erie Canal

For those of you who want to look the other way on public safety issue or ignore what the NY Canal Corporation is saying about the NYS Canal System there's a lesson to be learned by ignoring safety issues on these old earthen dams. Maybe ask someone in South Carolina if you don't believe it will happen here. If the Erie Canal doesn't get fixed, and soon, then we will all have to worry about this same thing happening here.

It's not a matter of "if", it's becoming a matter of WHEN.

This original Post was made by Mike Caswell on Nextdoor Fairport
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 11:54:10 am by Doug K »

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Michael Caswell

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Even well maintained dams are dangerous
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 06:27:10 am »
Dam Fails in Edenville, Michigan

Here's what this well maintained dam looks like, from a Google Maps photo.

Note the complete lack of trees and vegetation. It appears to have failed due to torrential rain and saturation of the earthen fill. The overtopping of the dam then washed away the dam.

What does this prove?  Even well maintained dams from a vegetation perspective are dangerous!

 The Sanford Dam burst on Tuesday after days of heavy rain

Another dam, as seen here with no vegetation, yet it failed.

« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 08:09:51 am by Michael Caswell »

Canal Neighbor

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Re: Even well maintained dams are dangerous
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 07:38:05 am »
News reported a heavy rainstorm just prior to collapse of TWO dams along this Michigan river. Midland Michigan had 7 inches of rain over the past weekend.

One dam had a recent inspection and received a FAIR rating, the other dam, the one that broke first, it had a recent UNSATISFACTORY rating, stating it was a possible hazard to human life.

Many canal embankments in our area have received the same unsatisfactory rating, and have been labeled High Risk.

NY canal earthen embankment dams are just an accident waiting to happen. Too bad most of the Rochester area is unwilling to admit the problem and would rather fight against work to repair an unsafe canal system.