Dam Safety Awareness Day is May 31
National Dam Safety Awareness Day occurs on May 31 each year in commemoration of the failure of the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pa. in 1889.
This was the worst dam failure in our nation’s history, killing more than 2,200 people – far more deadly than the Teton Dam failure in 1976, which caused 11 deaths.
National Dam Safety Awareness Day was created to encourage and promote individual and community responsibility for dam safety, as well as to provide information on what steps can be taken to prevent future catastrophic dam failures. A secondary goal is to promote the benefits that dams offer to communities.
Here in Idaho Falls, for example, the four hydropower plants help keep Idaho Falls Power’s electric rates among the lowest in the nation while providing a variety of recreational opportunities, from boating and water skiing in the 305-acre Gem Lake Marina to fishing in the children’s fishing pond at Gem State to picnic areas along the river as it flows through Idaho Falls.
Three of the four dams in Idaho Falls are low head and therefore low risk – there is no reservoir or water storage – but anglers frequent the river channel around the facilities, where water levels could rise significantly and suddenly if the gates are opened. Plant operators control these gates and use cameras to check for anglers who might be in danger, signs address the potential for fast-rising water and sirens serve as a warning.
Many eastern Idahoans also spend time on reservoirs at larger dams – Island Park and Palisades, in particular. While these dams provide many benefits to communities in eastern Idaho and across the country, it’s important to recognize the flood risk these facilities could pose if they fail.
Avoiding Scam Artists
Idaho Falls Power is warning customers to be aware of scam artists.
A recent tactic is for scammers to pose as utility representatives calling by phone to collect payment for an overdue bill. The scammer threatens to shut off electric service unless the victim will pay his or her bill immediately, with a credit card.
If you receive such a call, we advise you to hang up immediately and report the call to the police department at 529-1200, Idaho Falls Power at 612-8348 or the City Utilities office at 612-8280.
Here are some tips for avoiding scams.
He aqui algunos consejos para evitar las estafas.