Aerial view of Wanapum Dam (Credit: Joe Mabel, via Wikimedia Commons)
Water levels behind the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River are being drawn to their lowest levels in 50 years, according to National Public Radio. This is because a 65-foot crack has been found in the dam’s wall.
An employee with the Grant County Public Utility District spotted a curve in railing along the dam on March 4. After divers were sent in to inspect, a two-inch wide division was spotted running down the wall.
With the crack located, levels are being lowered mostly to make sure those performing further inspection are safe, according to the Seattle Times. Officials at the utility district say the risk of failure is high enough that they have notified government agencies and those downstream.
Image: Aerial view of Wanapum Dam (Credit: Joe Mabel, via Wikimedia Commons)