By John Aguilar
The Denver Post
AURORA — A failure at the Cherry Creek Dam would inundate the heart of the Denver area with a torrent of deadly water, putting more than 280,000 people, nearly 39,000 structures, and $14 billion of land and property in jeopardy.
That nightmare scenario is why federal officials are taking steps to assess the safety of the 140-foot-high earthen dam on the border of Denver and Aurora and lay out ways — such as raising the dam, building a second spillway or adding more relief wells — to make it safer.
On Saturday, the Army Corps of Engineers will take its Dam Safety Modification Study for Cherry Creek Dam to the public to get feedback on how to move forward.
Another meeting was held Thursday night.
John Palensky, the Army Corps’ Cherry Creek Dam safety-study manager, said any risk associated with the 65-year-old dam is because it is perched over a densely packed urban corridor, not because of problems with its structural integrity.
In other words, he said, “the risk is skewed by the consequences.” Continue reading