Engineers help city shore up dam’s latest emergency plans

Contracted engineers are in the midst of an update to ‘dam breach modeling’ for Lake Gladewater.
Unanimously-approved by council members in mid-August, the project is part of an overall, ongoing effort to ensure the stability and safety of the dam that creates the community’s sole water source.
“We’re going through some required updating of our emergency action plan for the lake and the dam if it were to breach,” Mayor Scott Owens said. “Nothing is imminent at all in that area, but we do need to do some work… to get up to date here with it to help us apply for some grant funding down the road.”
“Are you guys just doing a study or are you going to be doing the work on it, too?” council member Rocky Hawkins asked engineer Andrew Wright of Schaumburg & Polk Inc. on Aug. 17.
“It’s just creating computer models of what would happen if the dam were to breach,” he said, “for the Emergency Action Plan.”
That EAP has been through an extensive updated by Gladewater Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Simmons and his team.
The modeling is supposed to be updated every five years, city manager Charlie Smith noted.
“When was the last time?” he asked Wright.
It’s been 10 or 15 years since the city updated the necessities, Wright said.
“We need to get in that mode,” Smith said.
What fund will cover the $11,800 cost? council member Brandy Flanagan asked.
From the current Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget, Smith replied.
“It’ll come out of some of the overage, and we’ll have to do a budget amendment on that,” Owens echoed.
According to Schaumburg & Polk’s scope of work, Simmons update of the emergency plan requires revisions to flood inundation mapping as well as detailed flood analysis and modeling. Numerous homes, commercial buildings and essential utilities reside downstream of the dam, directly in the flood-path.
The scope of basic services for SPI includes:
• Identify, consult with and analyze requirements of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality;
• Prepare a 2D unsteady flow hydraulic model;
• Perform a breach analysis of the dam structure;
• Prepare maps required for updates to the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) according to TCEQ rules and regulations including a vicinity map and an inundation map.

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