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FEMA Grants Will Pay To Repair N.H. Dams That Could Cause Disasters If They Failed

Michael Casey
/
AP

New Hampshire will offer a new federal grant program to rehabilitate some of its dozens of so-called “high hazard” dams – ones that would threaten life and property if they failed.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency launched the program this year, giving New Hampshire close to half a million dollars to give to towns, nonprofits and dam owners.

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It’ll be used to plan rehabilitation projects for dams the state says could be deadly or destructive, inundating homes, if they malfunctioned.

The state has more than 3,000 dams overall, most of them privately owned. The Association of Dam Safety Officials reports that as of 2018, about 160 of those dams had “high hazard potential.”

An Associated Press investigation last fall found that about 30 high hazard dams in New Hampshire, and close to 1,700 nationwide, were also in poor or unsatisfactory condition. 

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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