Flood Control Dams Help Protect Augusta County

By: TCorillo@whsv.com Email
By: TCorillo@whsv.com Email

Recent flooding in the Valley and nationwide have many localities examining what can be done help stem the flow of water.

One tool in use in the Valley is flood control dams.

In Augusta County, there are 16 flood control dams in place to help prevent flooding.

Those dams get inspected annually to make sure they are up to code.

John Kaylor, with the Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District, says, "In addition, we inspect them after major storm events. We're up here to look at them for maintenance items in between that, so they get a lot of inspections."

Currently seven of the 16 dams in Augusta County are rated as conditional dams, which means they may need repairs.

"Those are dams that we have been notified that, because of construction downstream and increased regulation, that they are considered conditional dams," explains Kaylor.

Kaylor stresses the conditional dams are safe and he says proactive efforts by elected officials in Augusta County and Waynesboro mean that three formerly conditional dams have already been rehabbed.

"There are approximately seven more structures that are listed as conditional, probably another 12 million to upgrade those seven dams," says Kaylor.

However, securing the money to rehab the dams may be caught up in the Washington, D.C. budget battle.

"Unfortunately, now the actual program that the federal government has to assist localities, there's discussion of actually eliminating the program," comments Kaylor.

One of the seven conditional dams in Augusta County has already had the design work completed, and is now awaiting funding to complete the work.

Kaylor says, if the funding is cut to the federal program, it could put a tremendous strain on localities like Waynesboro and Augusta County to come up with the money to upgrade the dams on their own.

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