FEMA Incident Review of Dam Failure

FEMA Incident Review of Dam Failure

FEMA will host a webinar on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 from 1:00 pm– 2:30 pm ET to review a newly released report that examines the incident response before, during and after the Edenville and Sanford Dam failures in 2020.

The report, titled Michigan Dam Incident Response Review: An Analysis of the 2020 Edenville and Sanford Dam Failure Response, also identifies key actions communities can take to build resilience to dam-related emergencies.

Background on the 2020 Edenville and Sanford Dam Failures

Excessive rainfall in combination with a decade-long history of maintenance and compliance issues led to the catastrophic failure of the Edenville Dam the evening of May 19, 2020. The resulting flood wave caused the subsequent failure of the Sanford Dam, 10 miles downstream. More than 4,000 structures across the region were impacted by the floodwaters, with estimated losses of roughly $245 million. Approximately 11,000 residents successfully evacuated the area with no serious injuries or loss of life reported.

The review of this event provides key insights and lessons for other jurisdictions with dams, including:

• Examining risk and coordinated planning on a watershed scale is important, especially as excessive precipitation becomes more prevalent, to ensure awareness of systemic risk both upstream and downstream.

• Planning and exercising, with participation from emergency management and dam owners/operators, provide a valuable opportunity to test plans, confirm roles and responsibilities, and identify areas for improvement.

• Inundation modeling and community data are critical for effective planning and conducting realistic exercises.

• Pre-incident relationships between emergency managers and dam owners/operators greatly improve communication, coordination, and response during an emergency incident.

• Open communications with the community are essential to explain risk and create more effective alerts and warnings for evacuations and shelter-in-place guidance.

Register for the webinar here. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fema-hosts-edenville-and-sanford-dam-failures-webinar-tickets-367849486...

Comments are closed.