Wanapum Dam

Wanapum Dam
3:14 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Residents Upstream Of Wanapum Dam Make Do With Low Columbia River

Docks are high and dry for the long weekend near Eugene and Karen Penix's home at Sunland Estates near Vantage, Washington.
Anna King

The dramatic drawdown of the water behind the damaged Wanapum Dam in eastern Washington means boaters are out of luck on that stretch of the Columbia River.

Those who own vacation homes upstream from Wanapum at Sunland Estates say they are getting creative for the long weekend.

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Wanapum Dam
10:12 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Inslee: Cracked Wanapum Dam A Unique Problem, Not Systemic In River System

Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee toured the cracked Wanapum Dam on Wednesday.
Governor's Office

Gov. Jay Inslee got an up-close view of the drilling machines at work on the damaged Wanapum Dam in central Washington Wednesday, just one day after officials announced the dam’s massive crack was caused by fundamental design errors and bad concrete pours in 1960.

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Wanapum Dam
3:29 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Wanapum Dam Crack Symptom Of Several Big Problems

This undated photo shows the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River.
Grant County PUD

A host of problems caused the massive crack in Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River, the Grant County Public Utility District said Tuesday.

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Wanapum Dam
4:56 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Wanapum Dam Fix Could Total $61 Million, Says Grant County PUD

Grant County PUD

The cost fixing the cracked Wanapum Dam will total $61 million, according to Grant County PUD officials.

About one-third of the cost is the result of the investigation into the crack, the guarding of the river and the loss of power production. The rest will cover the fix itself.

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Salmon Runs
2:14 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Endangered Chinook Hitching A Ride On Trucks Around Cracked Wanapum Dam

Workers scramble to place temporary fixes on the fish ladders at the cracked Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River.
Anna King

Hundreds of Chinook salmon are being rounded up and loaded into tanker trucks that will drive them around the cracked Wanapum Dam in southweast Washington.

The Columbia River will remain drawn down at least until June, which means fish can’t reach their traditional ladders. Engineers are working on extensions and water slides of sorts to get fish ladders working again. But work to install this new equipment has been difficult, with cranes, man baskets and the whipping wind.

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Wanapum Dam
5:58 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Keeping Bones, Cultural Artifacts Safe In Central Washington Proving Costly

The drawdown of water behind the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is exposing dozens of human gravesites and hundreds of Native American cultural artifacts. Grant County officials are working overtime to protect these sensitive sites, but that work isn’t cheap.

Grant County utility district says it’s spending about $600,000 per month protecting 80 miles of Columbia River shore.

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Wanapum Dam
3:34 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

A Long, Dry Summer For River Resort Communities Behind Cracked Dam?

Boat launches and docks in the community have been left high and dry from the drawdown of water behind the damaged dam.
Anna King

For one resort community in central Washington, this summer could be a bust. A crack in the Wanapum Dam there has forced operators to draw down the Columbia River more than 25 feet, leaving boat docks hundreds of feet from the water.

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Wanapum Dam
2:25 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Winds Hamper Exploratory Drilling On Wanapum Dam’s Giant Crack

Photo courtesy of Grant County PUD.

High winds on the Columbia River are hampering forensic work on the damaged Wanapum Dam in southeast Washington. Workers first noticed a giant crack in the structure over a month ago. Investigators are trying to figure out just how bad it is and how to fix it.

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Unearthed Remains
7:29 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Bones Found Near Wanapum Dam Repatriated To Northwest Tribes

Anna King

Two skeletons found upstream of the cracked Wanapum Dam have been handed over to Northwest tribes.

The remains were found near each other several weeks ago along the newly-exposed Columbia River shore.

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Wanapum Dam
9:57 am
Fri March 21, 2014

With Drawdown, Fruit Farmers Scramble To Irrigate From Lowered Columbia River

Along the Columbia River in Washington state there are thousands of acres of valuable cherry, apple and pear orchards. These pears are damaged, and destined for cattle feed.
Anna King

Dam engineers are working to determine the severity of the crack in the Wanapum Dam’s spillway.

But the drawdown of the spillway to relieve pressure on the ailing structure is having some real consequences for the region’s farmers, tourism hubs and Northwest tribes.

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Wanapum Dam
3:43 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Fish Experts Plan Water Slide For Salmon On Cracked Wanapum Dam

File image of Wanapum Dam.
AP Photo

The ongoing issue with the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is now creating problems for migrating salmon. The drawdown of water between Wanapum and Rock Island dams to relieve pressure on the crack is the roadblock.

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Northwest Farmers
1:12 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Dam Drawdown: Worried Washington Farmers Plead For Help To Water Fruit Trees

Because of the drawdown, this irrigation pipe for cherry orchards that lies four miles downstream from Rock Island Dam cannot reach water in the Wanapum pool.
Anna King

State officials and farmers are scrambling to save orchards at risk of drying as a result of the drawdown of the Columbia River. The drawdown is due to major cracks found on the Wanapum Dam.        

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Unearthed Remains
1:52 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Wanapum Dam’s River Drawdown Churns Up Old Bones, Inundates Guards

Newly exposed riverbank sprawls out upstream on the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam
Anna King

A second set of human remains have been found near the cracked Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River in eastern Washington, according to state officials.

The remains were found about 500 yards downstream from the first set of remains found last week near Crescent Bar.

The first set belongs to a Native American man and could be very old. The second skeleton is also Native American, but its gender is not yet known. Whatever the case, some locals hope to avoid what happened with the discovery of the Kennewick Man.

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Northwest Farmers
4:03 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Upstream Of Damaged Dam, Farmers Can’t Reach Columbia River For Irrigation

Anna King

Thousands of acres of high-value cherry and apple orchards behind the damaged Wanapum Dam are at serious risk in eastern Washington.

It turns out farmers don't have long enough straws to pump out of the Columbia River now that the water has been lowered there to stabilize the dam.

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Wanapum Dam
8:17 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Newly Exposed Bones On Columbia River Shore Churn Up Old Questions

Newly exposed riverbank sprawls out upstream on the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam
Anna King

 

Grant County officials and Native Americans are patrolling round the clock to keep sacred and sensitive sites protected on miles of exposed Columbia River shoreline.

The drawdown of water behind the damaged Wanapum Dam and the nearby Rock Island dam has exposed lots of rocky shoals. But new-found bones are churning up old questions.

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