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Huge Crack found in Wanapum Dam on Columbia River
Huge Crack found in Wanapum Dam on Columbia River

Huge Crack found in Wanapum Dam on Columbia River

VANTAGE, Wash. – Engineers have found a 65-foot-long crack in a Columbia River dam in central Washington.

Grant County Public Utility District officials say they plan to lower the water level at the Wanapum Dam, just south of Vantage near Interstate 90. Officials plan to lower the water level by 20 feet so inspectors can get a better idea of how serious the damage is.

Wanapum Dam is owned and operated by Grant County. Both county and federal officials are working on the problem. So far, the river has been lowered 20 feet to relieve pressure on the structure.

Thomas Stredwick, spokesman Grant County Public Utility District, says the lower pool is affecting power production, but homeowners won’t be affected. The worst-case scenario is if the spillway was to topple.

But Stredwick thinks other sections of the dam would hold on and downstream communities should be safe. He says Columbia River dam operators plan for events like this crack, but hope they never occur.

Agencies/Canadajournal




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