SPENCER, Neb. (AP) — An Associated Press analysis has found a growing number of hazardous dams in poor condition across the U.S.
The AP tallied more than 2,200 dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition that are rated as high hazard, meaning their failure likely would kill someone. That figure is up substantially from a similar AP review three years ago.
In Spencer, Nebraska, a dam breached and killed one person on April 29, 2019.
Experts say the increase is a result partly of deferred maintenance and new development downstream from old dams that weren't necessarily designed to today's standards. The federal government's National Inventory of Dams has been updated to make the conditions of many dams public, but some agencies still withhold that information.