Dam engineering on a deadline: When Leominster, Mass. was inundated by an epic rainfall event
At a Glance
Engineers who design, inspect, and plan repairs and upgrades of the more than 80,000 dams across the United States usually are thinking in timeframes of years—how long it will take to design and permit and complete projects? And of the decades or even centuries dams need to be counted on to last.
Every once in a while, however, dam engineers have to think and react in timeframes of just days and even hours.
Such was the case in September 2023 in the North-Central Massachusetts community of Leominster, Mass., when the city was inundated with a virtually unheard-of 9.5 inches of rain in less than six hours.