Safety of dams: “We’re working with every single owner”
The major wire service The Associated Press has identified dams across the country that are in poor condition. The numbers are believed to exceed 1,600, and Oconee is just one of many locations where there’s concern. “We’re working with every single dam owner to make sure there’s an appropriate action plan built so if there are some issues, we can address it very quickly with downstream emergency personnel.” About the condition of the 1935 Oconee State Park dam at Mountain Rest and others that on the list of poor or unsatisfactory, Krein said this: “Just because it is a high-hazard dam doesn’t mean that it is in bad condition or that it’s imminent to fail, or anything, it’s just that they have identified it as if this was to fail, there would be hazards downstream that need to be notified and there’s criteria for that….” Though it the tragedy took place more than 40 years ago, the Kelly Barnes Lake Dam failure at the Toccoa Falls (, Georgia) Bible College Krein says that was a tragedy from which the lessons learned remain valuable today. Thirty-nine people were killed during the collapse of that barrier built to hold back water.