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Homeland Security Funds for Dam Monitoring Research in Kentucky

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Kentucky is receiving a $200,000 federal grant to research ways to better monitor dams and warn nearby residents of flooding.

State Division of Water Director Peter Goodmann says the Commonwealth has about 960 regulated dams. He says about 300 are considered high-hazard, where a failure could result in loss of life.

“That doesn’t mean those dams are unsafe," Goodmann said. "It just means that you have to pay greater attention to the high and moderate hazard dams to make sure we understand how they’re being maintained and operated and that we inspect them more frequently.”

Goodmann says Kentucky's dams are inspected at least once every three years, annually for some high-hazard structures. He says the research work is expected to take about a year to complete. A subsequent phase could mean placing new monitoring equipment on or in dams.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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