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Country Discussion Topics
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Only in California! Build right at the bottom of a
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Willy-N    Posted 01-14-2005 at 08:23:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Guess they are asking or telling them to leave since the Dam is at the top! They built a Housing Project right below the dam, makes you wonder what they were thinking? Mark H.

Gunner    Posted 01-14-2005 at 16:58:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds like the dam Housing Project people didn't do a dam review. The dam flooding risks should have been obvious!

Zenia    Posted 01-14-2005 at 10:43:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
What dam are you talking about? Should I switch on the news?

Go figure, they built Folsom Prison level with the top of the dam...

EngineerJoyce    Posted 01-14-2005 at 09:41:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Now this is exactly what I am working on today! Not this dam, but this stuff.

A little insight...
Water impounding structures (dams)with people living downstream are constructed to some pretty extreme requirements. One is that if it rained the biggest imaginable rain in 6 hours, the water would not flow over the top of the dam. Where I'm at, that would be around 28 inches in 6 hours! Now, consider the amount of rain that has dropped in that area over recently. The dams hold back the rain and let it out more slowly. Unfortunately, the dams haven't had a chance to empty out much on one rain before another one came. This type of scenario is nearly as un-imaginable as the 28 inches in 6 hours.

The good thing this dam has in place for it is the constant monitoring and early warning & removal of downstream residents. Most dams don't have that luxury.

Such high hazard dams are built such that it is nearly un-imaginable that it would fail. But the unimaginable weather has trumped the best laid plans.

An yes, not a day passes that I don't think: Why would these stupid people build below that huge store of water? death wish?

Willy-N    Posted 01-14-2005 at 10:11:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
I used to camp on the water side of this Dam. Many times there was never any water in it? Now it is full to the brim! Mark H.

EngineerJoyce    Posted 01-14-2005 at 10:56:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
That is what would be referred to as a "Flood Retarding Structure". It's only purpose is to catch the water and release it more slowly. The creek downstream only sees water flow at maybe a 1 year level, even if a 50 year rainfall happens.

Most commercial development these days are required to install "retention basins" for their parking lot runoff. That lake is just a really big one of those.

BTW - where is this thing? I'd like to look it up...

Willy-N    Posted 01-14-2005 at 11:32:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Prado Dam Corona, California I beleive that is how it is spelt. Mark H.

EngineerJoyce    Posted 01-14-2005 at 12:49:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
That is SUCH a cool structure!
It was built in 1941. Most un-modified creeks and rivers get out of their banks two times every year. Since this thing was completed in 1941, it has held back the water and released it slowly and prevented any land downstream from flooding ANY for 64 years now!

If the water gets up to its secondary spillway (which it has never done) then people closest to the river could experience some flooding. For the first time in 64 years!

Thank you bunches, Willie-N! And yes, I read the whole link. Engineers are weird, I know.

Willy-N    Posted 01-14-2005 at 16:27:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
I read it to, thought it was interesting. Did not know all that stuff about it even tho I have been there several times in my younger years. Mark H.

Les    Posted 01-14-2005 at 10:05:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here in the town where I work, there is regular flooding on one side of the river. Hardly a year goes by but what some homes don't flood at least once. In the spring if the ice jams up down stream, it backs up and floods this intervale. People just move right back in when the water goes down. Unbelievable.
There's a couple of convenience stores, the college maintenance facility and the field house in addition to all those homes (maybe 50) in that flood plain. At least the college built the field house up so that it can deal with the floods.

deadcarp    Posted 01-14-2005 at 08:56:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
in the 60s we had baldwin hills dam break, then before that (30s i think) the bouquet canyon one let loose and washed the whole canyon out. in the 71 earthquake, van norman reservoir cracked & came real close to flooding the whole san fernando valley. acreage is so valuable, every inch of land is built on. even earthquake faults. :)

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