The aftermath: An update on Hurricane Florence and dams

Overall, dams and hydropower plants fared well during Hurricane Florence, which has now been downgraded to a tropical depression.

However, there was concern about the safety of several small dams in this region of the U.S. For example, Sanford Dam near Bolivia, N.C., collapsed due to floodwaters, news agencies reported. The dam was 40 feet tall and built in the 1960s and had survived other hurricanes.

Additionally, on Sunday night officials in Ashe County, N.C., issued an evacuation order to residents of Creston because of concerns about a potential dam breach. The National Weather Service said that Headwaters Dam was in danger of being breached, with a flash flood warning in effect for the county (which has since expired). The small dam was reported to be located at 5010 Three Top Road, north of Todd.

Other dams of concern were Country Club Lake Dam in central Robeson County, N.C., with an EAS activation requested the afternoon of Sept. 17; and McLaughlin Lake in Hoke County, which could potentially breach due to heavy rains.

Estimates indicate this storm could cost the region as much as $22 billion, most of that in property losses. More than 20 people have died as a result of the storm, most of them in North Carolina.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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