Page 11 - Living with Dams

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Living with Dams: Know Your Risk | April 2012
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Recent Dam Failures
July 25, 2010 – Lake Delhi Dam,
Delaware County, Iowa
The failure drained a nine-mile recreational
lake and damaged or destroyed up to 300
January 6, 2009 – Dam in Etowah
County, Alabama
Floodwaters washed away a culvert and a
private dam broke producing up to 12 ft.
of flooding in the area causing residences
to be evacuated. A dozen roads were
also closed due to the floodwaters and
property damage was reported to be
December 22, 2008 – Kingston Coal
Waste Dam, Roane County, Tennessee
5.4 million cubic yards (> 1 billion gal) of
sludge damaged 12 homes and covered
hundreds of acres. Cleanup costing ~$1
million* per day. The Kingston Dam was a
40-acre pond used by the Tennessee Valley
Authority to hold slurry of ash generated
by the coal-burning Kingston Steam Plant.
The dam gave way just before 1 a.m.,
burying a road and railroad tracks leading
to the plant. No one was seriously injured
or hospitalized.
March 14, 2006 – Ka Loko Dam, Kauai,
The failure of an embankment dam
in a relatively undeveloped area killed
seven people and caused extensive
environmental damages.
December 14, 2005 – Taum Sauk Dam,
Lesterville, Missouri
The failure of this off-stream hydropower
facility, located high above Johnson’s Shut-
Ins State Park, destroyed the home of the
park superintendent and swept his family
downstream. Miraculously, all survived.
The flood washed out part of a state road
and caused extensive environmental
damages to the East Fork of the Black River
and to the park, which in warm weather
months is typically populated with
hundreds of campers and hikers.
Historically Significant Dam
February 26, 1972 - Buffalo Creek
Valley, West Virginia
The failure of a coal-waste impoundment
at the valley’s head took 125 lives, and
caused more than $400 million* in
damages, including destruction of over
500 homes. This disaster wiped out 16
June 9, 1972 – Rapid City, South Dakota
The Canyon Lake Dam failure took an
undetermined number of lives (estimates
range from 33 to 237). Damages, including
destruction of 1,335 homes, totaled more
than $60 million*.
June 5, 1976 – Eastern Idaho
Eleven people perished when Teton
Dam failed. The failure caused an
unprecedented amount of property
damage totaling more than $1 billion*. The
failure flooded at least six communities
and tens of thousands of acres.
July 19-20, 1977 – Laurel Run,
Laurel Run Dam failed, killing over 40
people and causing $5.3 million* in
November 5, 1977 – Toccoa Falls, Georgia
Kelly Barnes Dam failed, killing 39 students
and college staff and causing about $2.5
million* in damages.
May 31, 1889 - Johnstown,
The deadliest dam failure in U.S. history
took the lives of more than 2,200 people.
*Dollar amounts have not been calculated to account for current monetary inflation.