In light of the recent flood in Houston, it?s important to consider the state of 1,900 of the 100,000 dams in the U.S: they?re about to break.
The barrier across what used to be Lake Senneca in New Jersey was one of them until last August. ?I was standing there and it was shaking as if there was an earthquake,? says Ron Pietranowicz, a member of the neighborhood association that now owns the dam. ?Then the dam gave way right in the middle. Within an hour, the entire lake had emptied out.?
Fortunately, no houses were in the path of the water and there was no loss of life. Now there is only a large muddy pit with weeds growing out of it where the 20 acre lake used to be. Jetties stick out into empty air. The estimate to reconstruct the dam is $500,000.