Emergency Action Planning



About EAPs

About EAPs

Indiana Dam Emergencies

The 2008 Indiana Hazard Mitigation Plan noted these examples of dam emergencies over a period of several years.

  • Lake McCoy Dam - Decatur County, a high-hazard dam with repeated failures.
  • Beanblossom Dam
  • Raysville Dam - Henry County, a high-hazard dam with extreme neglect and deterioration.
  • Sylvan Lake Dam - Noble County, a high-hazard dam with a continuing history of deficiencies and component failures.
  • Scottsburg water supply reservoir - a high-hazard dam, after 12 inches of rain, the concrete emergency spillway was totally destroyed, the earthen dam embankment was sand bagged and complete disaster narrowly averted.
  • Hamilton Lake - Stueben County, a high-hazard dam, 8" of rainfall in about 12 hours, the dam overtopped, quick action by DNR, INDOT and IDHS averted failure of the highway that had become a temporary dam.
  • Goshen pond dam
  • Grandview dam - Bartholomew County, a 50 + foot high-hazard dam where the embankment cracked down the centerline resulting a failure of the slope. Quick action by the owner's engineer and contractor saved the stabilized the dam.
  • Lake Schaffer -- Bartholomew County, a significant-hazard dam with a seriously inadequate spillway has nearly overtopped several times in the last 10 years. The lake level has been lowered to reduce the risk of an overtopping failure.
  • Hurshtown reservoir -- Allen County, embankment slope instability problems have resulted in several instances of immediate attention and concern on this off-channel high-hazard reservoir.
  • Centre Grove Dam -- Johnson County, although this high-hazard dam had been reconstructed the failure of the principal spillway pipe threatened the structure and required an emergency drawdown of the lake.
  • Wagnor Youth Camp Dam -- Grant County, failure of the concrete spillway on this high-hazard dam resulted in emergency repairs.
  • Brush Creek Dam -- Jennings County, the development of a sinkhole near the toe of slope on this high-hazard dam resulted in the lowering of the lake and implementing a detailed monitoring program and developing an extensive reconstruction plan.
  • Lake Salinda Dam -- Washington County, the failure of a portion of the concrete ogee spillway resulted in an unscheduled response by state officials and the governor. A temporary emergency measure of placing fill downstream of the failed spillway and lowering of a water supply lake was required.

Even the best of the best dams can have problems. Two federal dams, which are examples of conservatively designed and built structures, have recently experienced substantial problems.

  • Patoka Reservoir - sinkholes formed with underground voids in the emergency spillway, this resulted in a multi-million dollar repair.
  • Mississenewa Reservoir - piping (internal erosion of the dam core) under the embankment is causing displacement of embankment fill material and significant settlement. This lake level has been lowered for at least 3 years, and repairs are estimated at $55 million for a cutoff wall through the embankment into bedrock.

At the present time, the State of Indiana does not have all the data needed to assist in the prediction of the probability of dam failure.