(WBNG Binghamton) Communities across upstate New York could be in danger of flooding if their local dam breaks.
U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) says more than 1,000 dams in upstate New York, including 157 in the Southern Tier, are considered "high" and significant" hazards.
Half of those dams lack an emergency action plan to address the potential consequences of a break.
As temperatures warm up, Schumer is calling on the Senate to pass the Water Resources Development Act.
The act would increase federal funding for dam inspection, maintenance, and updated safety requirements through the renewal of the National Dam Safety Program, which is currently expired.
"Many of the dams don't have what's called an EAP, an emergency action plan, which would be how you notify people if the dam is broken and how you would evacuate people if it God forbid, it broke," Schumer said. "And that's a good thing to have, particularly for the older dams that might be in structurally bad shape."
Schumer says dams are not only vital for flood protection but also drinking water, navigation, irrigation, and recreation.