65 Foot Crack Is Discovered In Washington Dam Amid Safety Fears - 2 March 2014

65 Foot Crack Is Discovered In Washington Dam Amid Safety Fears - 2 March 2014 A 65-foot-long crack in a Columbia River dam in central Washington has prompted officials to begin lowering the water level by 20 feet so inspectors can get a better idea of how serious the damage is. There's no immediate threat to public safety from the crack in the Wanapum Dam, Grant County Public Utility District spokesman Thomas Stredwick said Friday. The dam is located just downstream from where Interstate 90 crosses the river. 'At this point we already know there's a serious problem,' Stredwick said. 'We want to make sure the spillway is stable enough that inspectors are safe when inspecting it.' An engineer earlier this week spotted a slight "bowing" above the spillway gates near where cars can drive across the dam, The Seattle Times reported. Divers found a 2-inch-wide crack along the base of one of the spillway piers. Public utility district officials analyzed the divers' data and decided Friday that the failure risk was sufficiently high that they should notify other government agencies and downstream water users. Officials have lowered the water level by 6 feet already and plan to let the level drop another 14 feet by Monday. Dam failure in the rural area south of the small town of Vantage would primarily affect farmers, fishermen and power generation. Subscribe For Breaking News Tags Sixty-five-foot crack discovered in Washington dam 'Serious problem': 65-foot crack found in Columbia River dam Washington Dam Has 65-Foot Crack

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