Salmon Creek Dam in August 2013. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Salmon Creek Dam in August 2013. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

AEL&P testing Salmon Creek siren Thursday

Alarm will sound as part of regular safety testing

If you hear a siren sounding from Salmon Creek this Thursday, don’t worry. It’s only a test.

Alaska Electric Light & Power (AEL&P) is testing the Salmon Creek emergency evacuation sirens from 11-11:30 a.m. Thursday. The test is being done in conjunction with the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency Programs.

Tests like this ensure that the siren is loud enough to alert people and businesses in case of the Salmon Creek Dam failing (which has never happened). The Salmon Creek Dam, a concrete arch dam built in 1914, was constructed to provide water for hydroelectric power generation. The reservoir also provides drinking water to Juneau.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the dam, which is about three miles up the Salmon Creek valley. FERC personnel inspect the dam annually, and AEL&P monitors the dam around the clock. The power company also sends out crews to inspect the dam every month.

FERC also requires an in-depth inspection and investigation by a qualified independent engineer every five years. After any earthquake felt in the Juneau area, engineers from AEL&P perform an inspection as soon as possible.

AEL&P has an Emergency Action Plan for the dam in case it fails, which people can learn more about by calling AEL&P’s Consumer Affairs Department at 780-2222. People can also learn more by calling CBJ Emergency Programs at 586-0371.

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