Mint Hill, N.C. - Several dams failed in South Carolina following this historic rainfall. In the wake of this, we took a look at dams here in Mecklenburg County and found out nearly a dozen are considered both high hazard and in poor or unsatisfactory condition.
In a nutshell, it means those eleven dams are at risk of breaking if a serious storm hits our area. All of them have homes in their path. We went to one located in the middle of a small community to find out what is being done to make repairs.
It's practically hidden in the middle of the peaceful countryside. A small dam built by the Allen family who owns land in Mint Hill.
"His dad built the pond before the house was built over there. Mr. Allen loved to fish. He was getting up in age. He wanted a nice place to grow old," said Rober McClain who lives across the street from the dam.
This is one of nearly a dozen high hazard dams officials say are in either poor or unsatisfactory condition in Mecklenburg County. Two of them require immediate repair. Here's why.
"If it were to fail, it would result in the loss of life or downstream properties," said Bill Denton, the state's chief dam safety engineer. He says high hazard dams are inspected every two years to check for problems, like these.
"Stability problems, severe cracking, inadequate spillway capacity," said Denton.
We spoke with the owner of the dam off camera. We're told he's getting estimates to make the necessary repairs. He says the dam was built in the 1960's.
We asked the neighbor who lives across the street from the dam if he's worried about its condition.
"I have seen it out of its banks several times through the years, but it has never come up close enough that it would be any threat to us at all," said McClain.
The state says most dams across North Carolina are in fact privately owned, like in the case of that family in Mint Hill. We're told the owner is responsible for maintaining it.
Here's a breakdown of the numbers. There are 76 high hazard dams in Mecklenburg County. That means if they failed, it could cause loss of life. Again, 11 of those dams are in either "poor" or "unsatisfactory" condition. Right now, just two require immediate repair.