Wanapum Dam Crack: Divers Find 65-Foot Crack Posing Serious ‘Risk Of Failure’



” A Wanapum Dam crack that stretches 65-feet has bowed out part of the spillway gates very close to where the cars drive across the dam. This was the first indication that something was wrong, according to NewsOxy on March 2.”



” The Wanapum Dam is a major dam on the Columbia River and it “poses a risk of failure,” prompting the Grant County authorities to activate an emergency response plan. Divers went down and discovered this large two-inch crack that spans 65-feet putting authorities in high gear. They are dropping the water level 20-feet. The crack is located across the spillway piers of the dam.”



Read more about the cracking and here are some Wanapum facts:




Notice: Click here for latest updates on Wanapum Dam Spillway.

” Wanapum Dam is located on the Columbia River, six miles downstream of Vantage, Wash., 18 miles upstream of Priest Rapids Dam and 415 miles above the mouth of the river.

  The dam was named Wanapum in honor of the band of Native Americans who live along a stretch of the Columbia River from Vantage south toward Pasco, Wash.

  Wanapum Dam was financed by long-term revenue bonds that were retired through the sale of power. No tax money or government appropriations were used for construction of Priest Rapids or Wanapum dams. “




Construction Start July 1959
Power Generation Began July 1963
General Construction Contract Cost $93,277,690
Length 8,320 feet
Maximum Height from Deepest Excavation Point 185 feet
Spillway Length 820 feet
Amount of Spillway Gates 12 (each gate is 50′ X 68′)
Amount of Turbines and Generators 10 (of each)
Horsepower of Each Turbine 150,000
Rated Generating Capacity 1,092 megawatts














The map shows that not too far below the Wanapum Dam lies the Hanford Nuclear Plant . Not a good place for a flood , I wouldn’t think and apparently the government doesn’t think so either .



Wanapum Dam