KANSAS CITY, Mo. --
Harry S. Truman dam is functioning as designed and is not currently at risk of a structural failure or overtopping. There are no anticipated changes to routine operations and maintenance activities due to the new dam safety classification. No structural repairs are currently planned or deemed warranted at this time to lessen the overall dam safety risk.
The Kansas City District will host a community open house Wednesday, March 13, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Harry S. Truman Dam Visitors Center, located at Truman Lake. The open house will provide the public an opportunity to become more aware of risks associated with living below a dam and current projects at the lake. All interested parties are encouraged to attend. Communication efforts, including the public open house, are planned to raise community awareness of dam risks and to encourage the public to become more prepared if an emergency were to occur.
The dam safety action classification (DSAC) for Truman Dam was reassessed in 2018 by USACE as part of our routine risk assessment process. The analysis took advantage of new data, more refined processes, and more effective procedures to better analyze the overall risk associated with large spillway releases and a potential breach of Truman Dam. Even though the downstream population and businesses had not changed dramatically since the previous assessment, the potential for downstream consequences increased due to a better understanding of how people may react during a flood event.
Dam safety is a major goal for the USACE. Life safety is paramount. USACE delivers safe dam operation and performance through continuous assessment, communication and risk management by dam safety professionals at all levels within USACE. There has been tremendous progress in the USACE Dam Safety Program over the past several years. The program has transitioned from testing new organizational policies, procedures, and organizational elements to operational and production mode.
USACE strives to deliver all the great benefits to our society that the dams were built for, but also reduce flood risk to the downstream public to the best of our abilities. We also believe communication is important with everyone potentially affected by a dam so they can know and understand their risk. Dam safety is the dam owner’s responsibility. The consequences, however, are shared by many, which leads to the need for increased awareness about dam safety. It is important that residents downstream from the dam are aware of the potential consequences should the dam ever breach and not perform as intended, or experience major releases.