Lessons Learned

Downstream of constructed spillway exit channels, spillway outflows can erode and even breach dam embankments and can adversely impact the operation of outlet works.

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Dozens of dams can fail or be in danger of failing during a single event (i.e. swarming failures). Dam owners and regulators need to prepare for these types of events.

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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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Embankment dams and levees are vulnerable to damage from wildlife intrusions and animal impacts.

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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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