Author Topic: 65-Foot Crack Found in Major Washington State Dam  (Read 266 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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65-Foot Crack Found in Major Washington State Dam
« on: March 01, 2014, 04:42:24 PM »

65-Foot Crack Found in Major Washington State Dam
By M. Alex Johnson

Federal regulators have been dispatched to Washington state to review a 65-foot-long crack discovered in a major dam, utility officials said.

The 2-inch-wide crack was found Thursday after divers were sent into the Columbia River because engineers detected a misalignment in a spillway on Wanapum Dam near the central Washington town of Vantage, said Tom Stredwick, a spokesman for the Grant County Public Utility District.

A spillway is the part of a dam that controls the release of water downstream.

IMAGE: Wanapum Dam Grant County Public Utility District
The crack in Wanapum Dam in central Washington poses no immediate threat to public safety, the local utility district says.

The water levels along the 8,320-foot-long dam are being drawn down about 3 feet per day to reduce pressure on the structure while inspectors investigate, the utility district said.

Stredwick said the crack posed no immediate threat to public safety or to the dam's electric generating capacity. But the National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Grant County through the weekend as the water is drawn down because "the potential exists for a rapid increase in flows from Wanapum Dam."

In addition to utility district engineers, officials of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission were on site to evaluate what to do next, Stredwick said.
First published February 28th 2014, 11:40 pm
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Offline mountaineer

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Re: 65-Foot Crack Found in Major Washington State Dam
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2014, 05:37:00 PM »
Yikes. Dams are marvelous works of engineering, in my opinion. I once had the opportunity to tour the inner workings of the Sanford Dam in Texas and found it fascinating. I certainly hope this issue is resolved quickly.
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Offline EC

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Re: 65-Foot Crack Found in Major Washington State Dam
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2014, 06:43:07 PM »
A well built dam will last virtually forever. The Quatinah Barrage in Homs is still working just fine after over 3000 years. It's been extended a couple of times. Once by the Romans in about 100 AD and again just before WW2.

Elegant bit of engineering.
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