Toccoa, GA Dam Failure and Flood, Nov 1977

Damage From Flood Waters Ruins Of Toccoa Dam Failure Toccoa Falls GA Memorial Sign 1977 Dam Disaster.jpg Break In Dam

In Toccoa, BILL STACY, 19, who lived with his parents in a trailer, said: "I heard a bunch of people screaming and hollering. There was this terrible screeching noise .. the trailers were all over the place -- some floating, some just came apart."

Gov. GEORGE BUSBEE, who flew to Toccoa, said the state would begin monitoring "as of this moment" 84 dams in the state that have been classified highly hazardous by the federal Corps of Engineers. He said the dams would be examined, not because they posed imminent danger, but because of the recent heavy rainfall.

BUSBEE said the state would investigate the dam break, but that "this is no time to start blaming anyone."

The president of the college, KENN OPPERMAN, said the dam, weakened by several days of hard rain, had been inspected in the past few days. He said, however, he didn't know whether any government agency might have taken part in the inspection.

"We had some flash flooding and as a result of that we inspected the dam," he said. "I'm of the opinion that it was a routine inspection."

The creek had risen to near flood stage Saturday night, and volunteer fireman were advising residents of houses and mobile homes in the area to leave as a precaution. Two of the firemen were killed when the dam broke.

The dam and lake are on property owned by the college, and water from the lake normally filters down a scenic 187-foot rock drop known as Toccoa Falls. It then runs into a creek which meanders through the campus of the non-denominational school, which has about 600 students and faculty and is operated by the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Nyack, N. Y.

Florence Morning News South Carolina 1977-11-07

Continued

Comments

wrong sex of a victim of toccoa falls dam-break

I don't know which sister wrote the comment, but she's right. Jaimee is my daughter who died in the dam-break. Also myself, my wife, and my 3 other children survived.
Thank you for the correction.
Doug

Toccoa Falls College

Toccoa Falls College was never operated by any particular church, denomination, or any other group. From its beginning through past the time of the 1977 flood it was independantly operated by itself. The article says operated by the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Nyack, Ny, but this is not true. Toccoa Falls College worked with the Christian and Missionary Alliance as it did with other denominations. The dam at Toccoa Falls College was never inspected by any official dam inspectors. What inspection, if any, that took place was done by the maintenance staff at Toccoa Falls College of which none were dam inspectors. Only the first floor of the THREE floors of the men's dormitory received extensive damage and there was some water damage on the floor of the second floor. The men's dorm is located near the creek that flows from the falls. It is at the maximum 30 to 34 feet high. Water never was higher than 10 or 11 feet on the creek side of the dorm.

wrong sex of fatality

Jamie Veer was my brothers baby girl, not a son