KANSAS CITY, Mo. — National Dam Safety Awareness Day occurs on May 31st 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 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.
For 30 years, the federal government has been working to protect Americans from dam failure through the National Dam Safety Program. The NDSP, which is led by FEMA, is a partnership of the states, Federal agencies, and other stakeholders to encourage individual and community responsibility for dam safety.
The Kansas City District, Corps of Engineers will observe National Dam Safety Awareness Day by holding two informational events. The events will be held at 9 a.m. on May 28 at the Litton Visitor Center at Smithville Lake, and at 2 p.m. on May 28 at the Tuttle Creek Lake Visitor Center. John Benson, Dam Safety Program Manager will be available to provide an informational overview and answer questions.
“The Kansas City District is committed to dam safety and the authorized benefits of dams, and we look to National Dam Safety Awareness Day to remind the public about our role and the public’s role in dam safety,” said Benson.
While dams provide many benefits to communities, such as storage of drinking water and 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.
Visit http://engineeringstrongersafer.net/national-dam-safety-awareness-day/ today to find out how you can support National Dam Safety Awareness Day in your community.
Additional information on national dam safety is available at: www.fema.gov/protecting-our-communities/dam-safety
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Release no. PA-2015-27