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FEMA Mitigation Dam Task Force Strategic White Paper on Dam Risk

Cover photo for the document: FEMA Mitigation Dam Task Force Strategic White Paper on Dam Risk

From October 1-5, 2015, heavy rainfall over parts of South Carolina resulted in the failure of 31 state regulated dams, one federal dam, two sections of the levee adjacent to the Columbia Canal, and many unregulated dams. A Dam Task Force was deployed by FEMA Mitigation in support of recovery efforts. The group was tasked to assess the dams and provide their expertise and insights to the State of South Carolina, FEMA HQ, FEMA Region IV, and Joint Field Office (JFO) leadership.

JFO operations during a disaster rarely involve strategic and widespread issues regarding dams. As such, there are many dam-related lessons that can be learned from this disaster. There is an opportunity to document these failures and provide recommendations to inform and enhance recovery efforts in South Carolina and dam risk management activities in other states.

This report is limited in scope and provides the context by which risks related to dams and dam failure are managed in South Carolina, with some implications nationwide.

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Icon for file of type application/pdfFEMA Mitigation Dam Task Force Strategic White Paper on Dam Risk (DR-SC-4241)

The information in this report will help FEMA leadership, including Hazard Mitigation, to better understand the dam-related issues and improve operations in the future. It also provides general comments and considerations for each state regulated failed dam and the Columbia Canal levee failure. This includes an even broader view summarizing key strategic recommendations for the measures necessary to improve dam coordination, resilience, and communication for reducing future dam risks.

0.04GNovember 17, 2015