Grass Valley, CA May 28, 2021 – The Nevada County Office of Emergency Services (County OES) and the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) met last week to discuss fire safety and tour NID’s hydroelectric facilities. The day was scheduled to further the partnership that includes joint drought monitoring and how NID and County OES are getting ready for wildfire season. The tour of NID facilities provided County OES with an up-close view of NID’s dam safety efforts and an opportunity to discuss joint emergency planning. The response for many emergencies, whether it be for wildfire, a dam related emergency, or other local event often involves evacuation. Both agencies agreed that it is critical for residents to understand their role in evacuations.
“We need each resident to understand their role in planning for an emergency and they need to know their evacuation zone. Having a community, especially here in the foothills, that can safely evacuate will save lives,” said Paul Cummings, Program Manager, Nevada County Office of Emergency Services. “I encourage residents to learn what zone they live in by visiting community.zonehaven.com.”
“At NID, safety is our first priority. Ensuring our dams are functioning as designed and regularly inspected is of paramount importance to NID,” said Keane Sommers, Hydroelectric Manager. “NID’s dam safety program requires that we have staff available to respond to emergencies or unusual conditions 24/7/365. We conduct weekly inspections as conditions permit, and perform formal, detailed inspections monthly looking for anything unusual,” he continued.
In addition to routine inspections, NID commissioned an independent audit of the Dam Safety Program last year and every 5 years has an independent review of everything associated with its dams. In addition to the inspections that NID conducts, the District is subject to annual audits by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and California’s Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD).
With National Dam Safety Awareness Day coming up on May 31, NID encourages residents to visit nidwater.com to learn more about dam safety. Dams are a critical part of the nation’s infrastructure—equal in importance to bridges, roads, airports, and other major elements of infrastructure. NID owns and operates 15 dams under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Water Resources Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD). All of these dams, with the exception of Loma Rica Airport and Deer Creek, are also under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).