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View Full Version : Damn Dam broke!


Tristarboarder
03-09-2014, 11:07 PM
So up here in the NW, central WA state, (Columbia River, Vantage, WA) a damn dam official was walking along the dam, and found a 2' X 36' crack in the dam wall, and instantly reacted. They declared an emergency and closed another dam up river and then drained the water from the mile-wide Columbia river 7-8 feet within hours. The launch where I frequent is now a total mess, and some others were not so fortunate. There was literally hours (or less) for people to react and get to their boats. Here are some pics of the water recession at the dock, a mooring dock, and some poor soul's sail boat....Looks like I might either have to miss the season, or find another place (highly likely)......the "professionals" in charge state only 1 month to repair....I think the damn dam engineers might have a bigger problem on their hands. I tried to get close to the dam, but it was closed off to the public for the foreseeable future. If that dam had broke, it would have flooded an entire valley possibly destroying miles of shoreline property, boats, docks, and valuable farmland

ap77
03-09-2014, 11:59 PM
That is brutal! How far north is the dam?

john jones
03-10-2014, 12:02 AM
That sucks! There are lots of great places though, just a bummer that you have to travel so far.

Tristarboarder
03-10-2014, 12:16 AM
The Wanapum Dam is about 3-4 miles south of the launch in the pictures. The affected area of river from the dam north up to the next dam is about probably 15 miles of prime, beautiful watersport waters.....True, there are other places to go, but this is my backyard. Ya know, the places you go where you know where the shallow spots are to avoid, places to go to get away from others, where good water is, etc. The North Columbia Gorge is stunning with high desert cliffs and real scenery. Oh well, it will be fixed eventually. Might just have to drive 1 1/2-2 hours vs 1 hour... :D

FrankSchwab
03-10-2014, 12:41 AM
Seems like a good time to get together and properly extend some of those launch ramps....

mikeg205
03-10-2014, 12:57 AM
wow amazing... :(

lentiman
03-10-2014, 01:17 AM
I thought the crack was 65' long. But I also heard it wasn't as bad as they originally thought.

bcd
03-10-2014, 07:57 AM
Could be worse, this happened to a Lake Delhi near me 4 years ago. Technically, the dam didn't fail. We just had a 15" of rain in 24 hours and it came over the top. It was built before they required concrete spill ways, so the water just washed out the dirt beside the dam. It's taken a huge effort, but they are supposed to start rebuilding this spring. It's been a small river ever since.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFrwYHCQ0ZQ

scott023
03-10-2014, 08:15 AM
Holy lick. That's brutal.

Snipe
03-10-2014, 09:52 AM
Seems like a good time to get together and properly extend some of those launch ramps....

That is sad to see for sure. Take advantage of being able to walk around those docks and do the necessary maintenance that's needed. I certainly don't make light of this situation, but now is the time.

SP Maristar
03-10-2014, 10:05 AM
You can come further down the Columbia to my neck of the woods. I will show you the shallow spots to worry about in my "back yard." One month seems rather optimistic to fix a crack in a dam.

Tristarboarder
03-10-2014, 10:21 AM
I actually hear that the Columbia down by Richland is great. Good launches, nice parks, and smooth water, so I just might take you up on that; only about an hour and 20 from Yakima... :)

SP Maristar
03-10-2014, 10:29 AM
It can be busy just like most places but we like it. I checked out our fav launch this weekend and everything is looking good.

dlamont
03-10-2014, 12:36 PM
I was over there last weekend and it has to be over 25' down. Pretty nuts. While I was there I heard this repair could take up to 2 years to fix. The water still isn't low enough yet to fix the dam. The sheriff was there kicking people off the beach too.

Forrest-X45
03-10-2014, 02:00 PM
If this repair takes time it is going to kill Cresent Bar. I can't imagine the condo and communities are happy at all about the damn crack. We were tentatively planning another trip to Cresent Bar this summer, not now. We also have really good friends with a home in Desert Aire and they have dodged a big bullet so far.

Tristarboarder
03-10-2014, 02:11 PM
After I swung by and snapped those shots, I drove down to Desert Aire, and it looked good. Probably the place we'll go from now often....Crescent Bar is definitely a destination, and will surely be affected by the damage. Bummer.

Forrest-X45
03-10-2014, 02:31 PM
After I swung by and snapped those shots, I drove down to Desert Aire, and it looked good. Probably the place we'll go from now often....Crescent Bar is definitely a destination, and will surely be affected by the damage. Bummer.

Yeah - DA might be your best bet. The new boat ramp and dock are really nice. We go over every year and ride with our friends, they have a X-10.

drschemel
03-10-2014, 02:41 PM
If it's managed by the Corp of Engineers, they will probably start writing tickets on every dock that is not floating and fine them by the day until the water comes back!!

thatsmrmastercraft
03-10-2014, 08:24 PM
Dams letting loose can do some damage. In June 2008, an earthen berm let loose and allowed Lake Delton overflow into the Wisconsin River.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OflIsb0He4

lukedeuce
03-17-2014, 11:58 AM
Could be worse, this happened to a Lake Delhi near me 4 years ago. Technically, the dam didn't fail. We just had a 15" of rain in 24 hours and it came over the top. It was built before they required concrete spill ways, so the water just washed out the dirt beside the dam. It's taken a huge effort, but they are supposed to start rebuilding this spring. It's been a small river ever since.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFrwYHCQ0ZQ

This is the lake I grew up on, such a tragedy to see it gone, but they are thinking dam should be done end of this year and useable again in 2015.

Most of the construction delays have been due to the association giving up the lake to the corps of engineer, raising funds, and updating leach fields to legitimate septic systems

Indyxc
03-17-2014, 10:01 PM
Could be worse, this happened to a Lake Delhi near me 4 years ago. Technically, the dam didn't fail. We just had a 15" of rain in 24 hours and it came over the top. It was built before they required concrete spill ways, so the water just washed out the dirt beside the dam. It's taken a huge effort, but they are supposed to start rebuilding this spring. It's been a small river ever since.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFrwYHCQ0ZQ

Wow, all the houses along the river upstream of the dam, must of taken a beating on home value. :mad: