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Dam Safety Awareness Day warns of dangers near dams

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MADISON (WKOW) -- You may know May 31st as Memorial Day this year, but it is also Dam Safety Awareness Day.

Check out more Wisconsin news here.

In efforts to recognize the beneficial structures and remind people dam-related deaths occur, Gov. Evers proclaimed May 31 Dam Safety Awareness Day throughout Wisconsin, to coincide with National Dam Safety Awareness Day.

The Association of State Dam Safety officials said within the past 40 years, there have been more than 400 reported fatalities nationwide at dams while there have been only 40 deaths from dam failures.

In a press release about the day, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shares safety tips to follow when you are near dams:

  • Obey all warning signs, barriers and flashing lights, horns and sirens
  • Wear a life jacket
  • Always stay outside buoy lines and away from restricted areas near dams
  • Never swim or wade near a dam
  • Never boat or fish alone when near a dam
  • Leave your boat motor running to provide maneuvering power
  • Stay clear of spillways – changing currents and "boiling" waves can make boat control difficult near dams
  • Be aware that reverse currents occur below dams and can pull a boat back toward the dam into the spillway and capsize it
  • Never anchor boats below a dam as water levels can change rapidly
  • Set an example for children who may not be aware of the dangers

For more information on dams and dam safety, visit the DNR website.

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