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Living with Dams: Extreme Rainfall Events | 2015

| 9

Ka Loko Case Study

Failed on March 14, 2006.

Killed 7 people with

considerable property

damage.

Privately owned dam on the Big

Island of Hawaii. Height 40 ft.

Storage 1200 acre ft. The owner

filled the auxiliary spillway

with soil. There was a lack of

maintenance, the crest was

uneven and there were trees on

the dam which hid the erosion

of the dam that had taken

place. The reduced capacity of

the spillway caused the dam to

overtop and fail during a large

rainstorm.

Boulder, CO Case Study

Flash Floods of 2013 -

More

than 200 dams were identified

as having been exposed to

rainfall with return frequencies

from the 50-year to over the

1000-year event. Nearly all of

those dams withstood the

event because they were held

to high standards.

Florida, 2013: A radar estimated that approximately 20 inches of

rain fell in the area in just 24 hours, with rates in Pensacola at one

point on Tuesday night reaching an incredible 6 inches in one hour.

Pensacola, Florida 2014

Case Study

One week in April, 2014.

The same widespread storm

system that set tornadoes

spinning across the landscape

from Arkansas to North Carolina

this week also deluged the Gulf

Coast from Mobile to Pensacola

with more rain falling in a

single day than both locations

usually see in March and April

combined. A radar estimated

20 inches of rain fell in the area

in just 24 hours, with intensities

in Pensacola at one point on

Tuesday night reaching an

incredible 6 inches in one hour.

Above: Upgraded dam with spillway operating

correctly.

Below: Inadequate dam design resulted in

devastating failure.