COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Owners and operators of reservoirs statewide should check their dams and take appropriate steps to safely lower the water levels today and through the next several days in preparation for potential problems caused by heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sally, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC performed pre-hurricane season assessments of all dams of concern.

"Owners of ponds and reservoirs with functional gates or flashboards should consider operating them to provide additional storage for the anticipated rainfall," said Jill Stewart, P.E., Director of DHEC’s Dam Safety and Stormwater Permitting Division. "If there is a dam downstream of your dam and you are lowering your water level, please call the owner of that dam to advise him or her about what you are doing. Before and after the storm has passed, any accumulated trash and debris should be cleared from spillways."

Resources to help dam owners prepare for the approaching rainfall can be found under the “Preparing and Responding to Events at Your Dam” link on DHEC’s Dam Safety Program website at scdhec.gov/dams. 

DHEC also plans to utilize an emergency notification system as needed to automatically notify dam owners via voice call, text messages and email to take steps in preparation for the potential for impacts from Hurricane Sally.

"Dam owners should be aware of the conditions at their dams during such events," Stewart said. "If problems develop such that failure of the dam might be imminent, the owner or operator of the dam should contact local public safety officials, downstream property owners and DHEC Dam Safety Program staff at 803-898-1939.”

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