Flooding causes dam safety concerns in Colorado
Heavy rains caused flash flooding in areas surrounding Denver in mid-September, causing problems at several dams located in the Big Elks Meadows area.
Local sources said waters topped at least four dams, including Meadow Lake Dam. The office said the amount of water released by Meadow Lake Dam is "believed to be relatively small," although waters elsewhere are still expected to rise due to intentional releases from other dams.
Officials from Boulder County, which borders Larimer County to the south, said waters approached the tops of some of its dams. The officials did not report whether any were ever breached, however. The flooding had resulted in two deaths as of Sept. 12, although it is unclear if either of those deaths are related to the dam breaches.
Safety issues found at Lewisville dam
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detected safety issues at Lewisville Dam in Lewisville, Texas, in August during a routine screening. The Fort Worth district to hold a meeting open to the public Aug. 20 to discuss the concerns.
The dam, which impounds 23,000-acre Lake Lewisville, raised concern in 2005 for issues that the Corps felt were not below the tolerable risk guidelines. Additional studies of the dam were routinely scheduled as a result and in response to the risk.
The current issues have not made the dam unsafe, according to the Corps' Environmental Resource Planner Hollie Hunter, as quoted in the Lewisville Leader.
"The dam is not unsafe, however, the potential problems we have identified with the dam present unacceptably high risk to the large numbers of people, property, and economic and environmental resources located downstream," said Hunter.
In response to the safety issues, the Corps issued a press release stating that it is compiling a report and environmental impact statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
ASDSO announces dam safety scholarship award winner
The Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) has selected Lacey Albers as the recipient of its 2013-14 Senior Undergraduate Scholarship, the organization announced in August.
Now in its 22nd year, ASDSO's scholarship program awards up to US$10,000 to U.S. citizens enrolled in accredited programs in engineering or other fields relevant to the design, construction and operation of dams.
Albers, a senior at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, was selected from 19 submissions. She received a $10,000 scholarship for the 2013-14 academic year, as well as a stipend to attend ASDSO's national conference in September in Providence, R.I.
The civil engineering major currently works at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' St. Louis office, where she works with dam safety projects and monitors levee inspections. Albers has also work for the Defense Information Systems Agency.
Applications for ASDSO's 2014-2015 scholarship program will be available soon. For more information, visit www.damsafety.org.