U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Truman Dam "potentially unsafe"

Published: Mar. 11, 2019 at 5:34 PM CDT
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After rating the Truman Dam "potentially unsafe", the Army Corps of Engineers will be holding an open house forum to address what they found during their Dam Safety Action Classification analysis.

There are two reasons a dam run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would be given a Dam Safety Action Class 2 rating, the rating given to the Truman Dam.

The first would be if there was an imminent threat of a dam breach or break.

The Corps of Engineers says that's not the case for the Truman Dam.

"There are not any structural repairs that were deemed warranted to lessen the overall dam safety risk, and therefore we are not anticipating any changes to our routine operations and maintenance activities," said Scott Mensing, Dam Safety Expert with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Kansas City.

The reason the Truman Dam got that Class 2 rating is because the Army Corps of Engineers believes there could be a high life or economic cost if the dam were to breach, or if there is a large amount of water released from the spillways because of a rare rain event.

"The number of folks that live below Truman, and the size of our reservoir puts us at a higher level for us of making sure we're notifying people as much as possible of the fact that live near and below a dam and make them more aware of the potential risk that they could face," Mensing said.

To help with notify people of a potential disaster, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Benton County Emergency Management Agency has established a system that will send out a message if there were any dangers - either from the dam or weather emergencies.

"We've got thousands of people that live downstream, and the people who live upstream in case of a dam failure would be at risk as well," said Mark Richerson, Benton County Emergency Management Agency Director.

Richerson says home phones are already in the system, and they'd be able to send the notification to all cellphones that ping in the area.

"If that ever did come about, then the mass notification would go to everybody in the whole county."

You're also able to sign up for additional alerts that will give additional emergency details like shelter information and travel alerts.

To sign up for that, you can head over to bcmoem.com and click on "RAVE." You can click the link on the side of this article which will redirect you.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's meeting is Wednedsay from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

They're encouraging anyone who lives at the Truman Dam, and downstream through the Lake of the Ozarks to attend.