Dam

NC DENR

Engineers in Raleigh's Storm Water Utilities Department are planning to replace dams protecting some capital city neighborhoods.  Each project is expected to begin next year with costs into the millions of dollars.

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Two public hearings are scheduled this week in the ongoing fight over whether Alcoa should be allowed to continue operating dams on the Yadkin River. 

The hydroelectric dams are about 60 miles south of the Triad, and they powered Alcoa’s aluminum plant in Badin for decades. The factory is now closed, but Alcoa is seeking another 50-year federal license to operate the dams and sell the electricity on the open market.

Town commissioners in Hope Mills have a plan for repairing the broken Hope Mills Dam. The dam failed last June leaving the Hope Mills Lake dry. The town's attorney presented the plan during a commissioner's meeting this week. It calls for repairing the existing dam rather than building a new one. The companies that built the dam will repair it at their expense. Mayor Eddie Dees says he's happy to have the plan.

A dam breach in Moore County didn't put the public in danger. But it did serve as a reminder of the many dams in North Carolina that could be more dangerous if they failed. Mell Nevils, Chief of the Land Quality Section of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which includes the North Carolina Dam Safety Program, says the dam in Moore County was classified as an "intermediate hazard" meaning there was a likelihood of property damage in the event of a failure.