Monday, August 8, 2022

Virginia DCR awards $726,000 in grants to dam safety and flood protection

The Queens Lake community sits near I-64. Residents say the expanded highway will be even louder than it is now. (Courtesy Google Maps)

STATEWIDE — Virginia will award $726,000 in grants to support 57 dam safety and flood protection activities around the state.

According to a news release from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VDCR), the Virginia Resources Authority manages the fund on behalf of the VDCR. Grants are awarded through a competitive application process and approved by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board.

Grants are provided through the Virginia Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund. The fund was established to provide 50-50 matching grants to both public and private dam owners whose dams are under state regulation and to local communities to improve strategies for flood prevention and protection, according to the news release.

Information about the fund can be found by clicking here.

According to the DCR, some grant funds will be going toward maintaining the Queens Lake Dam. Below is a summary of the Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance grant awards for the Queens Lake Dam.

(Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation)

“National Dam Safety Awareness Day is May 31 and, as we reflect on this day, it’s important to remember that flooding is the most common and costly natural hazard,” DCR Director Clyde Cristman said in a statement from the release. “These matching grants will help make communities safer and more resilient to the extreme weather we are experiencing more frequently because of climate change.”

According to the news release, National Dam Safety Awareness Day commemorates the Great Flood of 1889 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The flood was caused by a catastrophic failure of South Fork Dam brought on by days of heavy rain and a series of alterations that made the dam vulnerable to overtopping.

More than 2,200 people died, making it the nation’s deadliest dam-related disaster.

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