NPR: Operators struggle with major crack in dam; Spillway could topple — AP: “Extends all 65 ft across monolith”; About 20 miles from Hanford nuclear site — TV: “Pretty crazy… one of biggest dams in state, going to be a catastrophe if something happens” (VIDEO)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
By Paul Martin
March 4th, 2014

Northwest Public Radio, NPR network, Mar. 3, 2014 (emphasis added): Dam operators are struggling to find a solution for a major underwater crack in the Wanapum Dam. It spans the Columbia River in central Washington […] The worst-case scenario is if the spillway was to topple. But [Thomas Stredwick, Grant County Public Utility District] thinks other sections of the dam would hold on and downstream communities should be safe. >> Listen to the broadcast here

AP, Mar. 3, 2014: […] Pressure caused a slight bowing in the dam that was first detected Feb. 24 by a staff member who noticed a curb on the road on top of the spillway was out of alignment. Engineers sent down divers who discovered the crack Thursday, 75-feet below the waterline. The crack extends all 65 feet across the monolith, which is 126 feet tall and 92 feet thick. Stredwick doesn’t think the crack extend all the way through the pier […] about 20 miles downriver is the Priest Rapids dam, near the Hanford nuclear reservation.

KIMA-TV, Mar. 2, 2014:

KIMA: The Wanapum Dam built almost 50 years ago has a crack in it. Officials don’t know how it happened, and neighbors are worried.

Kyle Rosskelly: “The aging of these structures and we should be on top of it, so if there’s something we could have done to prevent it, it’s pretty surprising it hasn’t been done.”

Thomas Stredwick, Grant County Public Utility District: “That’s what they’re really inspecting at this time, so right now, we don’t have any information either way. What we’re doing is stabilizing” […]

KIMA: Kyle is still concerned about the worst-case scenario.

Kyle: “It’s pretty crazy. It’s one of the biggest dams in the state, and it’s going to be a catastrophe if something happens.”

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