Emergency Action Plan For Lake Decatur Dam


Decatur – Water flowing over it since the 1920’s Decatur will now establish a Lake Decatur Dam Emergency Action Plan.

“It’s a critical plan that we need to put together so that we’re prepared in the event that there’s an emergency,” Assistant City Manager Billy Tyus told WAND’s Doug Wolfe.  “There is a large amount of land downstream.  There are residences downstream.”

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Water Resources (OWR) regulates dam safety statewide.  The OWR recently informed the city that state and federal emergency planning regulations now require the city to establish an emergency action plan.  Although the dam is inspected annually an emergency plan is needed in case the dam is breached, damaged by an earthquake, or takes a direct hit from a tornado.

Decatur has hired Hanson Professional Services to create the emergency plan.  Hanson has worked on several dam related projects in recent years.  Hiring the firm will save the city thousands of dollars.

“We’re able to save approximately $73,000 because a lot of modeling work has already been done by Hanson,” said Keith Alexander, Director of Water Management for the city of Decatur.  “There’s a lot of computer modeling done in terms of how water is going to move through a broken dam and what it’s going to do downstream from the dam.”

The total cost of creating the emergency plan is set at no more than $102,325.  It will take about six months to complete.

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