More than half the dams upstream from populated areas in Utah are unsafe or officials are unsure whether they are safe, according to a Deseret News investigation that will be featured Sunday in a News Extra.
Deseret News staff writer Lee Davidson investigated hundreds of federal and state studies and inspection reports about dams in the state, and found such things as:-Three years before the DMAD (Delta-Melville-Abraham-Deseret) Dam broke in 1983, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicted such a failure and its cause.
-The Corps of Engineers rated 67 of the 101 dams it examined in the state from 1977 to 1981 as unsafe. Inspection reports show most problems leading to those ratings have still not been rectified.
-Mountain Dell Dam above Salt Lake City is one of the dams considered unsafe, and officials admit they came within an hour of having floods over the top of it in 1983 which could have led to its failure.
The whole story will be available Sunday in a News Extra titled "Dams in Distress."