BY OLEG KHAGHANI
In an effort to prevent the likelihood of a major dam accident, such as had occurred at the Oroville Dam in California this past February, in Rockland and Westchester counties, the Office of Senator David conducted an extensive study of the area’s dams. This study categorized all these water barriers into four groupings, according to the damages that may be sustained should they fail in one way or another.
In category A belong those dams which pose very little hazard, either to life or to infrastructures in case any catastrophe should befall them. Category B counts the intermediate hazard dams. In case any of these fail, there is strong possibility of damage to isolated homes, main highways, and minor railroads, and there may be an interruption of important utilities, to include water supply, sewage treatment, fuel, power, and telephone and cable services. Damage to these dams also creates a possible threat of personal injury as well as significant economic loss—both private and public—but the loss of human life is highly unlikely.
The High Hazard dams, which are those whose failure may result in widespread economic damage and a substantial loss of human life, are labeled category C dams. Should any of these fail, the result may be widespread and severe damage to homes, main highways, commercial buildings, major railroads and all other private and public structures, services, and utilities. In addition the failure of category C dams has a high potential for causing a great loss in the number of lives within its vicinity.
Class D dams are those structures that have been either previously breached or removed and are no longer in service. Thus, they pose no threat, since they are no longer in use, and in many cases no longer exist, but the government does keep a record of them for statistical reasons.
In Rockland County, there is a total of (13) thirteen category C dams. As the present investigation which was conducted recently by Senator Carlucci’s office shows, they are all in excellent working condition and none of them pose even a single threat to their surrounding neighborhoods. In addition there are also (62) sixty two category B as well as (156) one hundred fifty six category A dams and they are also all in well maintained condition. Rockland County does not have any category D dams up to date.
This study, which was conducted by the office of Senator Carlucci is part of an ongoing effort by his department to reassure the safety, well-being, and comfort of the people of Rockland and Westchester.