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‘Serious problem’: 65-foot crack found in Columbia River dam
The Seattle Times ^ | 2/28/2014 | Craig Welch

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 there’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; US: Oregon; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: concrete
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50 miles upstream from me.

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

1 posted on 02/28/2014 8:07:24 PM PST by steve86
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To: steve86

ITEOTWAWKI


2 posted on 02/28/2014 8:08:56 PM PST by VRW Conspirator ( 2+2 = V)
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Wanapum Dam was built in 1959 and is more than a mile long.


3 posted on 02/28/2014 8:09:45 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: steve86

George Bush and DIck Cheney were said to have recently been seen on a Fracking Trip in the area!


4 posted on 02/28/2014 8:09:49 PM PST by MeshugeMikey (how many times has obie fundamentaly transformed obamacare now?)
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To: steve86

Wow!


5 posted on 02/28/2014 8:09:58 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: MeshugeMikey

Obama will fix the problem with an executive order.


6 posted on 02/28/2014 8:10:48 PM PST by doc1019
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To: steve86

Best be checking the flood insurance coverage.


7 posted on 02/28/2014 8:15:14 PM PST by Delta 21 (If you like your freedom, you can keep your freedom. Period.)
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To: doc1019
using his pen..if necessary to caulk the crack

I can almost see him now... poised like the Lil Dutch Boy with his finger in the Dike


8 posted on 02/28/2014 8:15:33 PM PST by MeshugeMikey (how many times has obie fundamentaly transformed obamacare now?)
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To: doc1019
Obama will fix the problem with an executive order.

An Executive Order won't be enough to fix this one.This calls for a candlelight vigil complete with a few verses of Kumbaya.

9 posted on 02/28/2014 8:15:47 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
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To: doc1019
Obama will fix the problem with an executive order.

Obama will call all shovels to the ready, as this is clearly a shovel-ready job.

-PJ

10 posted on 02/28/2014 8:19:37 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: MeshugeMikey

The Secretary of the Interior would like to talk to some salmon there before approving of any fixes to the dam.


11 posted on 02/28/2014 8:22:53 PM PST by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: Delta 21

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.


12 posted on 02/28/2014 8:23:13 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: steve86

“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.


13 posted on 02/28/2014 8:23:43 PM PST by Lurkina.n.Learnin (This is not just stupid, we're talking Democrat stupid here.)
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To: Gay State Conservative

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.


14 posted on 02/28/2014 8:23:51 PM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: doc1019
"Obama will fix the problem with an executive order."

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

In his executive order, he ordered that his crack pipe be brought to him immediately...


15 posted on 02/28/2014 8:26:34 PM PST by Heart-Rest (Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Gal 6:7)
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin
I would like to see more about this 65' long, 2" wide crack.

One worries that the crack could be more of a symptom of deeper, and more significant incipient failure.

.

16 posted on 02/28/2014 8:29:50 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: steve86

“Bowing” in a dam doesn’t sound good.


17 posted on 02/28/2014 8:29:53 PM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas ( Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: steve86

See map that accompanies article for location (south-central Washington State).


18 posted on 02/28/2014 8:29:56 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas
“Bowing” in a dam doesn’t sound good.

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.).

19 posted on 02/28/2014 8:34:06 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: TigersEye

ahahahaha now theres a conversation Id like to be privy to.

what a GREAT Movie Concept

She who Talks to Salmon!


20 posted on 02/28/2014 8:36:02 PM PST by MeshugeMikey (how many times has obie fundamentaly transformed obamacare now?)
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To: steve86

I have often wondered how these dams would react to when the big 9.0 quake hits the coast.

Government is condeming (due to co2 emmisions)the coal power plant in the region.


21 posted on 02/28/2014 8:40:51 PM PST by Cold Heart
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To: Cold Heart

I felt the Seattle Nisqually earthquake (M6.8) quite plainly, although an offshore megaquake would be much further away.


22 posted on 02/28/2014 8:44:52 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: steve86

If 0bama tries to stop the Russians in the Ukraine, maybe Putin will nuke the dam and thus, solve the problem altogether.


23 posted on 02/28/2014 8:52:38 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (The PASSING LANE is for PASSING, not DAWDLING)
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To: steve86

I’ve always wondered how long these dams we built (back when America actually built things) would last. God forbid we ever need to repair Hoover Dam, the environmental morons will never let them fix it.


24 posted on 02/28/2014 8:58:29 PM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: Seaplaner
One worries that the crack could be more of a symptom of deeper, and more significant incipient failure.

I hope not, but then again we would end up having river frontage instead of the mile-away access we have now.

25 posted on 02/28/2014 8:59:08 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: steve86

Shelter in place. Right?/s


26 posted on 02/28/2014 8:59:44 PM PST by logitech (It is time.)
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To: MeshugeMikey
I can almost see him now... poised like the Lil Dutch Boy with his finger in the Dike

What does Hillary have to do with it?

27 posted on 02/28/2014 9:01:08 PM PST by ponygirl (Be Breitbart.)
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To: TexasFreeper2009
I’ve always wondered how long these dams we built (back when America actually built things) would last.

Some of the highways around here have settled more than the engineers thought they would ("dips" in the road) and I wonder if riverbed settling is a factor with the crack.

28 posted on 02/28/2014 9:02:15 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: steve86

A trillion dollars on stimulus and this?


29 posted on 02/28/2014 9:10:05 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: steve86

Portland could be the surfing capitol of the world for one day


30 posted on 02/28/2014 9:10:33 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: steve86

Sounds like your near the Tri Cities. If their lowering 20 feet that’s going raise the pool behind McNary quite a bit. And Pasco has been trying to the corp of engineers to lower all the levies for years!

For those out there, this dam was built and owned by Grant County PUD and loosing it would kill Grant County as that’s where Microsoft, Google and a bunch of others built their data storage centers because of the cheap power from the dam.


31 posted on 02/28/2014 9:13:20 PM PST by shotgun
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To: GeronL

Hey, if you could catch that wave you’re a better surfer than ‘I’.


32 posted on 02/28/2014 9:14:29 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: shotgun

Good comment.


33 posted on 02/28/2014 9:15:29 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: ponygirl

Ha! Well done.


34 posted on 02/28/2014 9:21:54 PM PST by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it?)
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To: steve86

I’m over here in the Yakima Valley but I’ve lived mostly in the Tri Cities since 78.

With water that high they should bring in the hydros in March!


35 posted on 02/28/2014 9:22:51 PM PST by shotgun
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To: shotgun

I’ll head down to the river first thing in the morning and check the water level. Sounds like a little snow and/or freezing rain the next few days around here.


36 posted on 02/28/2014 9:25:44 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: steve86

Probably full of tumbleweeds by now


37 posted on 02/28/2014 9:27:56 PM PST by shotgun
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To: Gay State Conservative
Obama will fix the problem with an executive order.

An Executive Order won't be enough to fix this one.This calls for a candlelight vigil complete with a few verses of Kumbaya.

Relax, you are overlooking the other solution in the Obama household. All that is need is for moochelle to back he booty up to the damn, problem solved.

38 posted on 02/28/2014 9:40:46 PM PST by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: doc1019

He didn’t build it, but he can damn sure fix it with a few good people earning $15hr!!


39 posted on 02/28/2014 9:46:23 PM PST by catbertz
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To: catbertz

LOL!


40 posted on 02/28/2014 9:47:29 PM PST by doc1019
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To: steve86

Is this the one with the fish ladder where you can watch the fish navigating through the dam? Maybe they all have fish ladders.


41 posted on 02/28/2014 9:49:37 PM PST by firebrand
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To: Heart-Rest

I see what you did there...


42 posted on 02/28/2014 9:51:43 PM PST by null and void (<--- unwilling cattle-car passenger on the bullet train to serfdom)
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To: firebrand

Good chance you’re thinking about McNary — downstream from us.


43 posted on 02/28/2014 9:54:56 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: steve86

Could be. We drove to where the pioneers had to take to the river in order to keep going. Fond memories.


44 posted on 02/28/2014 9:58:47 PM PST by firebrand
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To: doc1019

Does this job call for the telephone or the pen?


45 posted on 02/28/2014 10:02:17 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: steve86

dam(n) crack.

crack kills.


46 posted on 02/28/2014 10:24:10 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: steve86

Nope, I’m a sinker


47 posted on 02/28/2014 10:27:21 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: steve86

I pray for your safety and for others there.


48 posted on 02/28/2014 10:31:36 PM PST by Amberdawn
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To: Amberdawn
Thanks, we'll be fine no matter what but it is the little retirement and recreation community of Desert Aire just a short ways below the dam that I'm worried about.
49 posted on 02/28/2014 10:58:27 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: steve86

All they need to do is use “Flex Seal” to repair the dam.
http://flexsealbrite.net/images/flexsealboat.jpg

And if they act now they can get a 2nd can to repair another dam.


50 posted on 02/28/2014 11:07:07 PM PST by minnesota_bound
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