Whittenton Dam Removal - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Whittenton Dam Removal

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TAUNTON, MA- All that's left of the Whittenton Dam, is in the process of being removed. In 2005, the dam made national news when it nearly gave way and threatened to flood Taunton.

Today signifies the beginning of the end to an uncertain hazard for Taunton residents.


"Where we see all these rocks and portions of the pipes, all of this will be gone and you'll just see a natural river channel here in about a month," said Alison Bowden.

Alison Bowden is the freshwater director for The Nature Conservancy; it's an agency that deals with large– scale threats including one in Tauton, eight years ago.

The 170–year-old wooden dam struggled to stand during a week of heavy rains back in October of 2005.

"So that was the great wall of water that could have, if the dam had breached could have made its way down to the downtown area," said Taunton Emergency Management Agency Director, Richard Ferreira.

One–thousand residents were evacuated. Luckily, that disaster was averted.

During that emergency, large stones were placed next to the dam to help stabilize the structure. They've since shifted and that's just one reason why the dam is being removed.

Bowden says, "We'll be able to see the restoration of long–distance migratory fish, the water will be cleaner, as well as providing those great benefits to the community in terms of public safety.

The half-million dollar bridge removal is being paid for with a mix of public and private money.

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