A 91-year-old dam in Texas, United States, has collapsed, draining a 170ha resevoir in a matter of minutes.
US river authorities have blamed ageing structural steel for the collapse of one of the dam’s spillgates. The collapse caused the depth of Lake Dunlap to plunge by more than two metres.
The exact cause has yet to be determined, but a similar collapse of a spillgate at Lake Wood, Texas, in 2016 was caused by a failure of structural steel members inside the gate.
Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) general manager Kevin Patteson said repairs to the structures were dependant on sourcing millions of dollars of funding.
“We recognise the value of Lake Dunlap to the community. GBRA is committed to finding a solution to replace the spillgates at all of our aging dams,” he said.
“The ability to move forward with construction at Lake Dunlap, Lake Wood, and the other dams is dependent on securing funding for these multi-year, multi-million dollar projects.”
After the gate failure at Lake Wood, GBRA engaged consulting engineers to determine the most feasible solution for repairing or replacing the spillgates in the hydroelectric system. The decision has been taken to upgrade all the ageing spillgates with modern replacements.
The video below shows the now-virtually empty lake.
The programme would cost $15M (£11M) per dam and the GBRA is looking to source this from through state and federal budgets.
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