Crews trying to learn extent of Wanapum Dam crack



Posted on April 2, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 2 at 10:23 AM

BEVERLY, Wash. (AP) -- Workers at Wanapum Dam have drilled six holes into the structure as they try to learn the extent of a crack discovered on Feb. 27.

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Drilling will resume after a larger platform is built to support the workers and their equipment.
The Grant County Public Utility District said Tuesday that windy weather has created delays in the drilling process.
All drilling work in the area of the crack, which is accessible only by boat or crane, must stop in wind gusts that are more than 35 miles per hour.

WATCH: Newly exposed shoreline near Wanapum Dam closed off
Building the new platform and additional drilling is expected to take about three to four weeks if there are no wind delays.
The drilling will help determine the geometry of the fracture and how far it reaches into the dam.

Meanwhile, the water level of the reservoir at Wanapum dam has been lowered by 26 feet since the crack was discovered.  The lower water levels have been creating a problem for fish migration.

For the first time, crews were installing pumps to help fish get over the ladders and past the dam. Officials also planned to trap fish at Priest Rapids in mid April and haul them right past the dam.