National Dam Safety Awareness Day Is TodayMon, 31 May 2021 10:30:07 CDT
National Dam Safety Awareness Day occurs on May 31 of each year to commemorate the failure of the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1889. The dam failure resulted in the loss of more than 2,200 lives and was the worst dam failure in the history of the United States.
National Dam Safety Awareness Day was created to encourage and National Dam Safety Awareness Day was created to encourage and promote individual and community responsibility for dam safety, as well as to provide information on what steps can be taken to prevent future catastrophic dam failures. A secondary goal is to promote the benefits dams offer to communities.
While dams provide many benefits to communities, such as the storage of drinking water and the improvement of wildlife habitats, they can also pose a significant flood risk if they fail. Dam safety is a shared responsibility, and everyone is encouraged to know their risk (and benefits), know their role, and take action.
"The Oklahoma landscape would look far different today without the foresight and leadership of our predecessors and their investment in the small upstream flood control program," said Gary O'Neill, Oklahoma NRCS State Conservationist. "It is our role to protect that legacy with a strong dam safety program that ensures safe designs, construction, repairs, and rehabilitation of this vital infrastructure."
The video linked is an introduction to the Oklahoma Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program video series The video features Oklahoma Conservation Commission's General Counsel, Janet Stewart, as she explains the flood history in Oklahoma which sparks the need for the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program.
Additional information on national dam safety is available here.
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