The collapse caused a large quantity of water to be driven downstream and, as a result, the lake's water level dropped by almost 3 meters in the following hours. It is believed that the dam was about 91 years old.
Residents were warned to reduce their water consumption even if officials ensured that Lake Dunlap is not the unique water resource for the region. At this point, it's not certain how much time is going to be needed in order to fix the damage.
The failure has triggered severe concerns about the stability of aging dams which raises a major issue since 1,263 dams at high risk exist in Texas, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In particular, 67 dams that are over 50 years old are located in Williamson County. The problem does not only concern the degradation of the mechanical properties of the dam's components but also the fact that they were constructed with obsolete safety codes.
Moreover, the dams that are considered vulnerable are required to have an emergency plan in case of a failure. The plan includes guidelines about how residents and officials should react in order to prevent any accident. However, according to ASCE, 20% of those dams do not have such plans.
To watch the moment of the dam's collapse, click the video below.