Tuesday, February 22, 2011

20% of US's dams in danger of collapsing.

From Daily Mail:
The U.S. could be set for a catastrophic flood in the near future after 4,400 of the country's dams were declared susceptible to failure.

Nearly 20 per cent of the nation’s 85,000 dams could give way and need to be repaired, according to the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.

However, with costs of repairs running into billions of dollar, a fix is unlikely any time soon considering the current economic climate.

One of the communities most at risk are the 4,000 residents who live downstream of the Lake Isabella Dam, which is built on an active fault line that has the potential to cause a devastating earthquake which would crumble the earthern water barrier.

Engineers who built the 57-year-old dam have said that the structure is also in danger of eroding internally.

If the dam were to break, Lake Isabella would probably be carried away and billions of gallons of water would rush down the Kern River Canyon onto the town of Bakersfield, home to 340,000 people.

The potential disaster would rival the Great Flood of 1889 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, which killed over 2,000 people and caused million of dollars' worth of damage.


Steve from Moon said...

Or...we could put unemployed people back to work fixing the country's crumbling infrastructure through WPA-type programs. But that would be too forward thinking for the GOP (filled as it with folks who don't believe in evolution and climate change and science in general). And it doesn't serve their rich masters' aims, so why bother. Never mind the people...

Adam Coozer said...

I was thinking the same thing. Our aging infrastructure is a huge untapped industry.