News

Dam emergency plan in place

An emergency action plan for four Clinton flood dams was approved at Wednesday’s Clinton City, Iowa Council Committee of the Whole meeting. The dams in question, known as the Whittier dam, First Congregational Church dam, May Pond dam and Spring Valley dam, are the four flood control dams that the city of Clinton is directly responsible for maintaining. Inspected every year, all of the dams appear to be in good shape as of now, Clinton Water Quality Superintendent Bob Milroy said. The location of the Whittier dam is described as “just north of the school, on Second Avenue South.” The First Congregational Church dam is “on the west side of the church in the woods,” with the May Pond dam being described as “behind the old Larry May property.” The Spring Valley dam is “on the west side of Spring Valley Drive, in a pasture.” The emergency action plan is part of a “worst case scenario,” Milroy says.

 

“What this plan is, is just a ‘best practice’ of what the DNR wants us to try to complement,” Milroy said. “It’s a template that was prepared by the DNR, and we essentially had to go through and just put the right contact information, and so on and so forth.” There is no expense to the city for

the plan in the near future, according to Milroy, though if something were to happen to one of the dams, the city would face the cost to repair. The plan ultimately consists of five steps. First, event detection is necessary; finding the incident. The second step is emergency level determination; analyzing the severity of the dam breach or failure. Third is notification and communication to the appropriate recipients. Step four is expected actions. Termination of the event is step five. At this point, the issue will have been resolved and emergency action plans are to be terminated. The timeliness of these steps also depends on the level of emergency, according to the plan. Levels one through three, with one being the least severe or slowest developing, dictate the potential contact entity or response time. The dams aren’t currently holding water, and are merely being used as emergency control areas. Milroy says he’s personally never seen more than a foot or two of water in any of the four dam areas. The emergency action plan now must go in front of the Clinton City Council, which meets again on Feb. 14.

Thank you Ron