DHEC Orders Actions for Dam Safety After Historic Flooding

After what has been referred to as the 1,000-year flood, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced that it would be issuing orders at several dams across S.C.

“As a result of the 1,000-year flood, many dams across our state were damaged and have been identified as needing repair,” said DHEC Director Catherine Heigel.  She added that, “DHEC remains committed to ensuring public safety and will be aggressive in pursuing all necessary safety measures to make sure that dam owners are making these needed repairs as quickly as possible.” 

While dam owners are responsible for maintaining the “structural integrity” of their dams, DHEC is responsible for “providing input and assistance to dam owners and operators and to advise on regulatory compliance,” according to their press release.  

The emergency orders are part of the DHEC’s assessment of all Class One and Class Two dams across S.C., after the recent flooding, which caused 36 of these dams to fail. DHEC emphasizes that there is currently no immediate threat to public safety.  

Of the 390 dams that were assessed, DHEC has issued emergency orders to 63 of them.