Months of heavy rainfall could be causing problems for the hundreds of Missouri dams that have never been inspected by state dam safety engineers.
The state has 660 dams 35 feet tall or more that are regularly inspected. But there are hundreds more than are lower and have never been inspected since the day they were built.
Chief engineer Jim Alexander with the state dam safety program says dams are like old houses–if they’re not taken care of, time and weather will cause them problems. He says his staff found several un-regulated dams earlier this year that had overtopped or had eroded. And it’s rained a lot since then.
He says he would not go so far as to say people living below those un-regulated dams should be worried. But he says they "need to be aware of the danger that lurks above them." Alexander says they need to be diligent about what’s going on around them and need to be talking to local authorities to see what can be done to bring them up to proper safety standards if they haven’t been kept up.