Lessons Learned

Early Warning Systems can provide real-time information on the health of a dam, conditions during incidents, and advanced warning to evacuate ahead of dam failure flooding.

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Earth and rockfill embankment dams must be stable under the full range of anticipated loading conditions.

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Emergency Action Plans can save lives and must be updated, understood, and practiced regularly to be effective.

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Extreme floods do occur.

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Floods can occur due to unusual or changing hydrologic conditions.

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Gates and other mechanical systems at dams need to be inspected and maintained.

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Hazardous hydraulic conditions, such as hydraulic rollers, can occur at dams of all sizes.

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High and significant hazard dams should be designed to pass an appropriate design flood. Dams constructed prior to the availability of extreme rainfall data should be assessed to make sure they have adequate spillway capacity.

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High and significant hazard embankment dams should have internal filter and seepage collection systems.

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Intervention can stop or minimize consequences of a dam failure. Warning signs should not be ignored.

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