About a dozen homeowners are suing an Army training base outside Columbia after two dams on the fort burst in last October’s record flooding, causing extensive damage downstream.
More than two dozen residents in a neighborhood outside of Fort Jackson’s gates are seeking for $20 million in a lawsuit filed this week. The State newspaper first reported the lawsuit, which claims the Army knew the 76-year-old earthen dam on Semmes Lake was deficient after an inspection two years earlier, but took no action towards repairs.
The lawsuit also says the Army failed to reduce the level of the lake even as forecasts called for at least a foot of rain. Two feet of rain ending up falling within about 12 hours on October 4. Semmes Lake was one of more than three dozen small dams that failed across the Midlands in the aftermath.
The 25 property owners in Kings Grant subdivision filed the lawsuit in federal court Monday.
While most of South Carolina’s small dams are regulated and inspected by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Fort Jackson structures were inspected by the Army Corps of Engineers.