SECTION 4: RISK ASSESSMENT
Climate Change Studies have been conducted to investigate the impact of climate change scenarios on dam safety. The safety of dams for the future climate can be based on an evaluation of changes in design floods and the freeboard available to accommodate an increase in flood levels. The results from the studies indicate that the design floods with the corresponding outflow floods and flood water levels will increase in the future, and this increase will affect the safety of the dams in the future. Studies concluded that the total hydrological failure probability of a dam will increase in the future climate and that the extent and depth of flood waters will increase by the future dam break scenario.
Vulnerability Assessment Methodologies and Assumptions
Dam inundation areas were not available for the identified dams; therefore, a quantitative vulnerability assessment could not be completed. Vulnerability discussed below is based on anecdotal evidence and theoretical understanding of potential risks. People A person’s immediate vulnerability to a dam failure is directly associated with the person’ s distance downstream of the dam as well as proximity to the stream carrying the floodwater from the failure. For dams that have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), the vulnerability of loss of life for persons in their homes or on their property may be mitigated by following the EAP evacuation procedures; however, the displaced persons may still incur sheltering costs. For persons located on the river (e.g. for recreation) the vulnerability of loss of life is significant. People are also vulnerable to the loss of the uses of the lake upstream of a dam following failure. Several uses are minor, such as aesthetics or recreational use. However, some lakes serve as drinking water supplies and their loss could disrupt the drinking water supply and present a public health problem. Property Vulnerability of the built environment includes damage to the dam itself and any man-made feature located within the inundation area caused by the dam failure. Downstream of the dam, vulnerability includes potential damage to homes, personal property, commercial buildings and property, and government owned buildings and property; destruction of bridge or culvert crossings; weakening of bridge supports through scour; and damage or destruction of public or private infrastructure that cross the stream such as water and sewer lines, gas lines and power lines. Water dependent structures on the lake upstream of the dam, such as docks/piers, floating structures or water intake structures, may be damaged by the rapid reduction in water level during the failure. Environment Aquatic species within the lake will either be displaced or destroyed. The velocity of the flood wave will likely destroy riparian and instream vegetation and destroy wetland function. The flood wave will like cause erosion within and adjacent to the stream. Deposition of eroded deposits may choke instream habitat or disrupt riparian areas. Sediments within the lake bottom and any low oxygen water fromwithin the lake will be dispersed, potentially causing fish kills or releasing heavy metals found in the lake sediment layers. Consequence Analysis
Table 4.15 summarizes the potential negative consequences of dam failure.
Wake County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan 2019
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