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S.C. reservoir owners advised to lower water levels

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Owners and operators of S.C. reservoirs should check their dams and begin lowering water levels in preparation for potentially heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sally.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has performed pre-hurricane season assessments “of all dams of concern,” according to a news release.  

“Owners of ponds and reservoirs with functional gates or flashboards should consider operating them to provide additional storage for the anticipated rainfall,” Jill Steward, director of DHEC’s dam safety and stormwater permitting division, said in the release.  “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 are available online.

DHEC also plans to utilize an emergency notification system as needed to automatically notify dam owners via voice call, text messages and email.

“Dam owners should be aware of the conditions at their dams during such events,” Steward 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 803-989-1939.”

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