"Dam Inspectors Fear the Deluge"

"The floodwaters are swelling, but the resources needed to confront them are shriveling up. That's the frustrating reality that state dam officials face as they confront added stress to the thousands of structures they regulate."

"Extreme weather, shifting demographics and the simple passage of time are teaming up to erode the condition of dams and increase the cost of their failure, often measured in millions of dollars and significant numbers of lives lost.

The number of deficient dams in the U.S. — those with structural or hydraulic issues that increase the risk of failure — is rising dramatically, outpacing the rate at which they can be fixed. But as austerity continues across governments, funds for inspection and upkeep are static or shrinking in most states."

Jim Malewitz reports for Stateline October 4, 2012.
 

Source: StateLine, 10/09/2012