Aging dams sprinkled across Connecticut are hidden flood hazards waiting in plain sight

Connecticut is one of the most heavily dammed states in the country, with about 4,800 spread throughout cities and towns, 84 percent of which are privately owned and many more than a century old. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state is home to 54 dams per every 100 miles of free-flowing rivers — more than any other state per river mile. The national average is six. Over half of the dams were originally built to supply local water power to mills or to make small ponds. They easily blend into the landscape, largely going unnoticed until catastrophe strikes. Making matters worse, there are no federal or state laws that require owners of high risk or significant hazard dams to disclose who might be in the flood zone should a dam fail, or get clogged and backup.

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