Crack in 1 Columbia River dam affects others

EPHRATA, Wash. (AP) - A crack in one Columbia River dam has created a problem for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Bonneville Power Administration as they assess how the hydroelectric system is affected.

The Grant County Public Utility District lowered the reservoir behind the Wanapum Dam 20 feet because of the crack. That reduces the power that 1,000 megawatt dam is able to generate and forces downstream dams to deal with the increased flow.

Divers discovered a 65-foot-long crack last week in the spillway of the 55-year-old Wanaump Dam. The mile-long dam spans the Columbia about 5 miles downstream of where I-90 crosses the Columbia River at Vantage.

The Columbia Basin Herald reports ( the utility notified downstream property owners of the crack as part of its emergency plan.


Information from: Columbia Basin Herald,

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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