Skip to comments.‘Serious problem’: 65-foot crack found in Columbia River dam
Posted on 02/28/2014 8:07:24 PM PST by steve86
A massive crack in a major Columbia River dam poses enough of a risk of dam failure that Grant County authorities have activated an emergency-response plan.
Officials said there is no threat to the public from the crack in the Wanapum Dam, which is just down stream from where Interstate 90 crosses the river.
But utility managers are lowering water levels a total of 20 feet because they fear the structure otherwise could endanger inspectors trying to get a better handle on how seriously the dam is damaged.
At this point we already know theres a serious problem, said Thomas Stredwick, spokesman for the Grant County Public Utility District (PUD). We want to make sure the spillway is stable enough that inspectors are safe when inspecting it.
Earlier this week, an engineer noticed a slight irregular bowing above the spillway gates near where cars can drive across the dam.
Wanapum, just below the Gorge amphitheater and the tiny hamlet of Vantage, is in a rural area. Failure would primarily impact fisherman, orchardists, farmers, boaters and, of course, power generation. Wanapum currently can generate more than 1,000 megawatts of power.
PUD officials have lowered the water 6 feet behind the dam since discovering the problem earlier in the week, leaving many boat ramps above the dam inaccessible
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.com ...
In the pic below, 8 miles or so behind the dam (upstream), you can just make out the I-90 bridge.
300 miles or more upstream from Portland, OR
Wanapum Dam was built in 1959 and is more than a mile long.
George Bush and DIck Cheney were said to have recently been seen on a Fracking Trip in the area!
Obama will fix the problem with an executive order.
Best be checking the flood insurance coverage.
An Executive Order won't be enough to fix this one.This calls for a candlelight vigil complete with a few verses of Kumbaya.
Obama will call all shovels to the ready, as this is clearly a shovel-ready job.
The Secretary of the Interior would like to talk to some salmon there before approving of any fixes to the dam.
There’s another dam between Wanapum and me, and four more are between here and Portland, but I have always wanted to see (morbid curiosity) a map of expected flooding if Grand Coulee were to fail (upstream of all of these). We are about 45 feet above the mean Columbia River water level.
“Earlier this week, an engineer noticed a slight irregular bowing above the spillway gates near where cars can drive across the dam. “
That doesn’t sound good.
Well we can be sure that if it blows it will never be rebuilt and if it doesn’t it will be the basis of lawsuits to tear out more dams.
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In his executive order, he ordered that his crack pipe be brought to him immediately...
One worries that the crack could be more of a symptom of deeper, and more significant incipient failure.
“Bowing” in a dam doesn’t sound good.
See map that accompanies article for location (south-central Washington State).
No, it doesn't, please pray for us (being a little facetious but we have always known of hazards associated with these dams -- but without the dams, we wouldn't have irrigation in eastern WA (major agricultural area), abundant hydroelectric power, most river and lake recreation (other than canoes and kayaks), barge transportation on the river, etc.).
ahahahaha now theres a conversation Id like to be privy to.
what a GREAT Movie Concept
She who Talks to Salmon!
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