Four days after Hurricane Maria overwhelmed Puerto Rico in 2017, a team of over 40 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers volunteers from different parts of the United States arrived to respond to this emergency. The team augmented the local USACE Antilles Area Office staff in the efforts to visually inspect 17 dams determined to be high hazard, or thought to have incurred damage during the hurricane.

Guajataca Dam, the most important water storage structure in the northwest of the island owned by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, was found to be in an active state of failure resulting from water overflowing the spillway. The erosion destroyed most of the spillway and the water supply line that crossed beneath it, as well as severely damaged the dam outlet gates. USACE immediately coordinated with FEMA and PREPA to stop the progressive loss of the spillway and potential failure of the dam.

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