Dams at Risk: 65-Foot Crack in Washington State Dam

A large crack has been found in the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River which supports the utility power supply to a major cluster of data centers in central Washington state.


65-Foot Crack Found in Washington State Dam (Feb 25)

The 2-inch-wide crack was found Thursday after divers were sent into the Columbia River because engineers detected a misalignment in a spillway on Wanapum Dam near the central Washington town of Vantage, said Tom Stredwick, a spokesman for the Grant County Public Utility District.

The Wanapum Dam generates more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity for the Grant County PUD, the utility that provides electricity to major data centers operated by Microsoft, Yahoo, Dell, Sabey Data Centers and Vantage Data Centers.

On February 25, dam officials noticed an irregular bowing of the dam near a section of a spillgate pier along the mile-long structure. Divers examined the area Thursday and discovered a two-inch wide crack running horizontally, located about 75 feet below the water’s surface. It runs the entire width of the 65-foot-wide pier.

The risk of a failure of the dam is high enough that the county has initiated an emergency plan. To relieve pressure on the dam, the water level is being lowered by 20 feet.




Owen Falls Dam in Uganda Falling Apart (Feb 28)
The Owen Falls dam in Jinja could cave in, if the cracks and damage to the dam are not repaired, an official of Eskom, the hydro power generation company, has said.

Huge cracks continue to develop in the walls and supporting pillars of the dam. Water continuously sips through the gaping holes, expanding the cracks and making the dam weaker by the day.




Lake Manatee Dam at Risk of Collapse (Feb 14)

The Lake Manatee Dam in Bradeton, Florida is in a "severely distressed state" because of erosion, engineering consultants have found, forcing county officials to take corrective actions.

Heavy rains over four or five days could compromise the Lake Manatee Dam, Manatee County government warned in a news release February 14.

As a precaution, workers have begun to lower the water level of the lake.

Engineers and officials are concerned that the dam's clay core may have been compromised.





Water Gushes over Crumbling Dam in Zimbabwe (Feb 9)

A dam on the Tokwe river in the Masvingo area of Zimbabwe is close to bursting as water from heavy rains finding its way through gaps in the uncompleted dam wall.

Construction of the Tokwe Mukorsi dam began in 1998 but stalled in 2008. The dam was due to be completed at the end of last year but the deadline has passed with construction still not finished. Pictures from the area show water gushing through breaks in the wall and a huge build up of water in the reservoir behind it. Villagers have been evacuated as quickly as possible, with around 4,000 people believed to be at risk should the dam burst.

According to the Daily News, the Zimbabwe Air Force is helping people evacuate. The Minister for Masvingo province is quoted as saying that the government is on high alert and "A helicopter from the AFZ has been airlifting some families who were marooned by the floods but we are not yet sure how many people are still marooned."



"All dams will break either during the pole shift or in the months leading up to the hour of the shift. Look at the structure of the dam! It assumes that rock holding both sides of the dam will remain in place and not move. Of course these sides will move. This is a subduction zone! There is mountain building and even where the mountains are not being pushed upward, they are moving from side to side. Some parts are more fluid than others, which are more resistant during any earthquake thrust, so there IS inevitably movement to the side. They will pull apart, slide forward or backwards, but in any case the water will find its way around the dam." 

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Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on August 21, 2019 at 12:45am


Four Texas Lakes to Be Drained Because Risk of Dam Spillways Failing Is So High

August 20 2019

At a Glance

  • Spillway gates on the man-made lakes are 90 years old and beyond repair.
  • Floodgates on two other lakes have already failed.
  • The water authority said it would cost $179 million to fix all the dams.

Four lakes along the Guadalupe River in Texas will be drained by the end of September after water officials decided spillway gates at the lakes are too dangerous to maintain.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority made the decision in response to the May 14 collapse of a 90-year-old spillway on the dam at Lake Dunlap.

Video from a security camera showed an 85-foot-long, 12-foot-tall spillway gate bursting from the dam on the lake near New Braunfels, Texas. Water dumped into the Guadalupe River at 11,000 cubic feet per second, Texas Public Radio station KSTX reported.

No one was hurt in the Lake Dunlap collapse. It was the second spill gate to fail since 2016, when Lake Wood drained after its gates failed.

The six dams were built between 1927 and 1932 for hydroelectric power generation, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The river authority bought the dams from private owners in 1963 and has spent $25 million on repairs and maintenance.

The cost to replace the spillway gates is estimated to cost $179 million, and the work would take several years.

For now, the river authority has decided the aging dams pose too much of a risk for the people who use the lakes for water-skiing, wakeboarding and fishing.

"Safety is our top priority. We understand this is an unpopular decision, but one that we feel is unavoidable given the dangers associated with these dams," GBRA General Manager and CEO Kevin Patteson told the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. "GBRA is committed to working closely with the lake associations and the community to mitigate the impact of this difficult but necessary decision."

The lakes will be emptied beginning on Sept. 16 at Lake Gonzales, the southernmost lake. The work will then move upstream to Meadow Lake, Lake Placid and Lake McQueeney, according to the GBRA. The drawdown is expected to take three days per lake and should be done by the end of September.

People who live along the lakes aren't happy.

"We're victims of maybe decades of mismanagement," Les Shook, who has lived on Lake McQueeney for three years, told the Herald-Zeitung. "There is just something wrong here. The biggest problem is that if they drain this lake, my house is going to decrease in value by 50%. There's a lot of valuable property on this lake."

"Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the dams is a community endeavor," the authority said in a news release. "GBRA is working in partnership with the Guadalupe Valley Lakes lake associations and affected residents, as well as city and county officials, to determine the best course of action for identifying, funding and completing the necessary replacement of the dams."

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on August 21, 2019 at 12:39am


Aug 19, 2019, 10:23 AM (IST)

Naggal dam gives way, triggers flash floods


15 head of cattle, six houses, four bridges washed away in Mohali villages 


Mohali, August 18

At least 15 head of cattle, six houses and four bridges were washed away in flash floods that hit several villages, including Chhoti Naggal, Badi Naggal, Parol and Mirzapur, and nearby areas following a major breach in the Naggal earthen dam here this morning.

Most of the residents of Chhoti Naggal, Badi Naggal and Mirzapur villages suffered losses worth several lakhs. These three villages have also been cut off following collapse of bridges connecting these to other parts of the district. Roads in the area were damaged due to flash flood fury. However, no loss of life was reported from the area.

Bhag Chand, a former panch of Chhoti Naggal and Badi Naggal villages, located 3 km away from the dam, said around 5-metre high “wall of water” came all of a sudden from the dam side and hit the area around 8 am.

“As our village is located on the foothills, the speed of water was fast. Within minutes, it flattened everything that came in its way. Around 15 head of cattle of two families and two tractors were washed away in the flash floods,” said Bhag Chand.

The houses that were located close to the hillock, where the dam is located, were the worst affected, he said.

Surinder Singh and Achchar Singh, residents of Chhoti Naggal, not only lost their houses but also eight buffaloes each in the flash floods.

During a visit to the spot, The Tribune team found that a portion of Surinder Singh’s house, where he used to tie up his cattle, was washed away. The remaining part of the house was also damaged and he had to shift his family to another house.

The story of another resident Achchar Singh was no different as he also lost his animals, house and a tractor in the flash floods. The fields, in which the corn crop was almost ready, were also badly damaged. Crops in the fields were flattened.

“I am clueless about what to do. Mainly, I sell milk to earn a livelihood. Today, I lost all my cattle,” said Achchar Singh with tears in his eyes. He said the impact of the water was so strong that his tractor, which was washed  away in the floods, was found around 100 metres away from his house. Residents said the water also washed away parts of some other houses in Badi Naggal village. Several structures, constructed in fields, were also washed away in the flash floods, they said.

According to Paras, a resident of Mirzapur village, several houses in the village were submerged in 5 ft water.

“Goods, furniture and other household items were damaged in our village, which has also been cut off due to damage to its approach road,” said Paras.

Similarly, Labh Singh, a resident of Parol village, said several houses in their village were under nearly 3-foot-deep water.

“The water came from the Naggal dam in the morning. Some parts of our house also got damaged in the flash floods,” said Labh Singh.

40-foot-long breach in dam

During a visit to the dam site, The Tribune team found a 40-foot-long breach in the earthen dam, which was constructed around eight years ago by the Soil Conversation Department, Punjab. According to officials of the department, who were present there, the dam reservoir, which is spread over several hectares, was full of water on Sunday morning.

“The reservoir is spread over several hectares and the water level was nearly 17 metre high,” claimed the officials of the department.

When The Tribune team reached there, the reservoir was completely empty.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Girish Dayalan, who visited the area, said due to collapse of bridges, some villages, including Chhoti Naggal, Badi Naggal and Mirzapur, had been cut off from the district.

“Officials have been deputed in all such areas to extend a helping hand to the residents. Our priorities are to prevent injury and loss of human life, save livestock and evacuate people if there’s any potential danger,” said Dayalan.

The DC said he had ordered to keep tents/boats and other such paraphernalia ready in case of any emergency.

“Ensure that food and drinking water are available in the areas that have been cut off. Dry rations may be given and help of gurdwaras may be taken to get cooked meals,” said Dayalan.



Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on August 10, 2019 at 4:36am


Dam Break in Northeast Laos Causes Heavy Losses For Locals, Builder


Heavy monsoonal rains in northeastern Laos ripped through a small one-megawatt hydropower dam in Xieng Khouang province’s Pek district earlier this week, causing extensive damage and flooding rice fields and property, local residents said Wednesday.

“Because of heavy rainfall and too much water, the dam couldn’t handle it, so it burst causing great losses and flooding 30 hectares (74 acres) of rice field and fish ponds,” said a villager who lives near the dam site.

Nearby Lad Boak village was completed flooded by the breach which occurred on Aug. 4, a second area resident said.

“This village has suffered a great loss,” said the man who declined to be named. “My parents’ two houses are badly damaged. Twenty-four families are the most affected. Ten other homes and 30 hectares of rice fields are also flooded.”

A third local, who is a tour operator, told RFA’s Lao Service that the Keng Khoune Dam broke when rising water levels pushed up against its walls and tore through both its sides, releasing torrents downstream.

The dam sits on an extension of the Nam Gneun River, a tributary of the Mekong River.

It was not immediately clear if the dam breach caused any loss of life.

State television in Xieng Khouang province aired a video of the dam break during which a reporter said that heavy and continuous rainfall over the past few days had eroded the structure's walls, causing them to give way.

The structure itself as well as its powerhouse and related heavy equipment have been badly damaged, with some components washed away and covered by mud, the reporter said.

Authorities are now assessing the amount of damage to the property of villagers who live just downstream of the dam. An initial estimate of the damage to the dam itself is between U.S. $400,000 and U.S. $470,000, he said.

In the video, the vice president of the Somphou Bridge and Road Construction Company, the dam's builder, denied that a breach had occurred and said that only her firm had suffered losses from the flooding.

“This was not a dam break; it was only water coming down so fast at once that the dam couldn’t release water fast enough,” she said. “But there has been no impact on or damages for people upstream or downstream. However, our loss is about U.S. $400,000.”

The executive, who was not identified in the report, said that rapidly rising water levels on the morning of Aug. 4 caused the None Reservoir to overflow.

During the breach, the dam stopped generating power for a while, then resumed, she said.

“Bad problems’ downstream

But Premrudee Daoruang, coordinator of Laos Dam Investment Monitor, a network of activists focused on hydropower dams, questioned the company’s damage claim.

“In the beginning, the owner of the dam claimed that the destruction [involved] only the dam and not others,” she wrote in an email to RFA. “Later on, it was clear that there had been some impact to the agricultural land (and maybe other things) that belong to the people in the area.”

“The one-megawatt dam seems to have certainly caused bad problems for people downstream, but I don’t know to what extent,” she wrote.

An official form Xieng Khouang province’s Energy and Mines Department, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak with the media, told RFA that the dam was not made of concrete.

“It’s made of soil mixed with sand, not concrete,” he said. “It’s easily and quickly eroded by rain. That’s why it is damaged.”

A Pek district official told RFA that provincial authorities have inspected the site and given some advice to the company about what to do.

"[The] company is repairing the water channel and has cleaned up the electrical components because they were submerged,” he said. “Some Chinese experts also are helping with the computer system of the powerhouse.”

The Keng Khouane Dam has been operational since 2016, selling electricity to Lao’s state-owned power operator Électricité du Laos.

Laos has built hundreds of small and large dams along the Mekong River and its tributaries in its quest to become “the battery of Southeast Asia,” exporting the electricity they generate to other countries in the region.

Though the Lao government sees power generation as a way to boost the country’s economy, the projects are controversial because of their environmental impact, displacement of villagers, and questionable financial arrangements.

A dam collapse at the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy hydropower project in southwestern Laos’ Champassak province following heavy rains in July 2018 triggered devastating floods that left 71 people dead and more than 10,000 homeless.

and another:


5,000 people evacuated at risk of Dak Kar hydropower dam collapse

Friday, August 09, 2019 13:17
The functional agencies urgently evacuated around 5,000 people near the downstream areas of Dak Kar hydropower dam in order to minimize relentless damages at imminent risk of the hydropower dam collapse.

Deputy Chairman of the People’s Committee of Dak R’Lap District under Dak Nong province reported that water level at the Dak Kar hydropower reservoir this morning dropped down 2.5 meters compared to subsurface dam due to low rainfall.

Dak Kar is a large hydropower plant adjacent to Dak Nong and Binh Phuoc provinces. If the hydropower dam is collapsed, its consequences will seriously affect to thousands of downstream households in Binh Phuoc province.

Amid the risk, the engineers have been watching over the reservoir safety hour by hour, the rescuers are ready to use all ways and equipment to deal with incidents in case of hydropower dam collapse.

There are four communes of Dong Nai, Phu Son, Phuoc Son and Ha Dang in Binh Phuoc province located in the downstream area of Dak Kar hydropower dam.

Currently, around 5,000 people near the downstream area of Dak Kar hydropower dam are displaced to safer areas.

The People’s Committee of Dak Nong province reported that the Dak Kar hydropower system with a designed capacity of 13 million meters cubic is under construction; however, its discharge valves are at fault, causing a rise of the water level.

Additionally, excessive rainfall triggered serious landslide at the foot of the Dak Kar hydropower dam, threatening to life of thousands of households in Dak Nong, Binh Phuoc and Lam Dong downstream places.

Earlier, the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control released an urgent telegraph to cope with incidents at the Dak Kar hydropower dam, asking the local government to quickly evacuate residents out of the dangerous areas.

Comment by KM on August 2, 2019 at 4:18am


Facing the deluge: Peak District town could be wiped off the map as police order 6,500 inhabitants to flee before collapse of crumbling dam holding back 300million gallons of water

  • Derbyshire Police tell residents of market town Whaley Bridge to leave their homes immediately 
  • Evacuees told to gather at a school three miles away or head further afield to stay with family or friends
  • Police urge people leaving Whaley Bridge to they take any pets and medication 'for a number of days'
  • Met Office warns further 1.6in (40mm) rain is expected to fall in just three hours in parts of North West 
  • Tonight workers were pictured laying sandbags at the scene in order to prevent the water getting through 

A Peak District market town could be wiped off the map as police order 6,500 inhabitants to flee before the collapse of crumbling dam holding back 300 million gallons of water takes over the area. 

Emergency service workers in Derbyshire have been scrambling this evening to save the dam which is set to burst any minute.

Teams were seen laying sandbags at the dam in order to prevent the water breaking through and wiping out the Derbyshire town.  

Officers went door-to-door around homes in the Derbyshire village, as residents fled the area in case the 1.3million tonnes of water contained in the huge Georgian-era Toddbrook Reservoir starts to escape.

A wall around the reservoir has been damaged and a huge hole appeared in it, as deluged communities across the North of England faced yet more flooding today with another fortnight's worth of rain set to fall in three hours. 

Evacuees were told to gather at a school three miles away in Chapel-en-le-Frith or head further afield to stay with family or friends following fears over the reservoir, which was built in 1831 and drains a 43-acre catchment area.

Police urged residents to ensure they took any pets and medication 'for a number of days', and asked people to 'make alternative arrangements to stay with friends and family'.

The force said the evacuation was 'not a decision that has been taken lightly', adding: 'We appreciate that there is significant impact on this community, however, this is an unprecedented, fast-moving, emergency situation.' 

Just before midnight last night Derbyshire Police said they had put in place an action plan, which included usinh water pumps to remove water from the reservoir to relieve pressure on the dam wall. 

Residents in the area have said they 'have never seen anything like it', despite living in the area all of their lives, one local also added that it was the worst flood in the village in living memory.

Last night emergency services in the area walked across a bridge and were seen laying sandbags infront on the direction of the flowing water in order to stop it getting past

Last night emergency services in the area walked across a bridge and were seen laying sandbags infront on the direction of the flowing water in order to stop it getting past

The scene at the Toddbrook Reservoir dam above the town of Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire where flooding has burst the dam

The scene at the Toddbrook Reservoir dam above the town of Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire where flooding has burst the dam

The rest of the action plan was for 400 tonnes of aggregate to divert water from entering the reservoir and into other surrounding watercourses designed for this purpose. Police said once those measures reduce the water to a level that is safe – work will then begin on the dam wall itself.

Last night Sarah Edgar, resident of Whaley Bridge since October 18, left with her husband, David and 10 year old son just before residents were evacuated. 

The family live around a quarter of a mile from the dam. She said: 'We have been keeping an eye on it since yesterday. It was torrential rain. I checked Facebook and everyone was saying how bad it was. 

'Our garden and the houses opposite have a brook separating them and that became a raging river, it's washed thins away in the neighbours garden. It used to be ten foot down from garden level and yesterday it was overflowing.

'This morning we got up and when we heard about the damage to the dam we knew we were going to be evacuated so we left earlier because my son would be panicking. It was scary, neighbours who've lived there for 15 years said they'd never seen anything like it. 

'We moved from Buxworth in October last year, we wish we'd stayed there. I've never known it to flow over like that. The police told us to take medication, animals and prepare for a few days away. My husband is a landscape gardener so he hasn't been able to work'. This is while one owner of a nearby local pub told which has also been evacuated told of how she called her partner.

Speaking to the BBC Jennifer, owner of the Goyt Inn said: 'Bring the dog. We have to get out.

'The dam is a mess. It really looks very unsafe and there's a lot of water in that reservoir.' 

Officers said people with nowhere to go will be accommodated, but 'there is limited capacity to do so'. They added: 'If you are unable to leave your own home and require assistance please contact 101 and ask for the police.'

Comment by Juan F Martinez on June 19, 2019 at 3:02pm

PARAGUAY Iguazu Dam Collapsed 6-18-2019

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on June 16, 2019 at 6:03pm


Dam malfunction causes flooding, road collapse

GLEN MILLER – A section of Trenton Frankford Road will be closed for the foreseeable future after a malfunction at a nearby dam caused flooding which collapsed the road, Quinte West officials say.

The road is closed from Batawa’s Plant Street south to Johnstown Road. The Johnstown Road bridge remains open. The public is asked to avoid the area.

“The damage to the road is extensive,” city spokesperson Hannah Brown said.

There’s exposed high-pressure gas lines, so the gas operator is onsite,” Brown said Saturday afternoon.

“There’s no real risk to the gas line. They’re just there to try to get the large pieces of asphalt out of the way.

The Saturday-morning emergency began with a power outage at a privately-operated dam just north of Johnstown Road,

Water from the Trent River crossed the road, which is also known as County Road 33, just south of the Sonoco Canada Corp. plant and just north of a home on the road’s west side. Emergency services ordered both buildings evacuated.

Garret and Esther Borger and their young son live one door down from the evacuated home.

Garret said they were alerted shortly after 8 a.m. by someone from the factory who told them there was a problem at the dam.

He said they went outside and saw water surging over the dam just north of the factory.

“It looked like Niagara Falls.”

Police and firefighters were soon at the scene.

The flooded pavement collapsed shortly after 10 a.m., he said.

“It cracked open and then you could see it all go” rushing to the river below, Borger said.

A silver Nissan car, which had become stranded on the flooded road, fell into collapsed area and ended up in the water along the west riverbank.

“It looked like someone was just reversing it into the river,” said Borger, adding it was believed to belong to a factory worker who’d been evacuated.

“The scariest thing was being told, ‘That house might go. This house might go’ … being told I might have to evacuate with whatever I could pack in a suitcase,” Borger said.

“I feel bad for my neighbours because they can’t come back.”

No injuries were reported.

“At this time we don’t even have a timeline for when the road will be reopened,” the city’s Brown said.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on May 24, 2019 at 3:24am


OKC Police Officers Warn Residents Of Potential Dam Break At Private Lake

Wednesday, May 22nd 2019, 9:25 PM CDT

OKLAHOMA CITY - A dam to a private lake in Oklahoma City is in danger of failing, according to the City. 

The storms have washed away the earth below the dam causing a portion to collapse. As a precaution, the City says voluntary evacuations are underway, and police have shutdown Air Depot between Hefner and Northeast 115th Street.

According to nearby residents, multi-million dollar homes surround the private lake in the Shadow Ridge housing addition.

In anticipation of additional rain, officers went door to door handing out flyers warning residents of possible flooding.

“Right now, everyone just seems to be waiting and watching,” said resident Seethal Madhavarapu.

“If it does break, it's going to be a lot of water coming through here,” said concerned resident Brad Meyers.

While some residents have heeded to precautions, others are staying put.

“Our houses are in this other neighborhood, we think we’ll be fine here,” said Madhavarapu.

Both residents said the potential for a break at an already compromised dam has caused many curious residents out of their homes.

“We saw that the dam is kind of broken over there, and so they're worried if there’s more rain tonight the dam is going to break,” said Madhavarapu.

“We saw it on the news and the boys have friends, so we walked down and thought I’d send the drone up,” said Meyers. 

Drone video shows the private lake is filled to capacity. However, residents say it's the homes just south of the neighborhood that would be impacted.

“I’ve talked to some friends in the neighborhood, they are not worried either. If it breaks, it would flow down south,” said Madhavarapu. 

Comment by KM on May 17, 2019 at 1:20pm


Dramatic moment the floodgate breaks on 90-year-old dam at Lake Dunlap in Texas spilling TONS of water

  • Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) shared video of the dam - that broke Tuesday morning - as it spilled tons of water downstream from Lake Dunlap
  • The middle spill gate is the portion of the 90-year-old dam that collapsed 
  • 'These flows could pose recreational hazards,' the GBRA said. 'Stakeholders are advised to take precautions such as securing boats & recreational property' 

Video released on Tuesday shows the shocking moment a Houston dam on Lake Dunlap failed.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) shared video of the dam - that broke Tuesday morning - as it spilled tons of water downstream. 

The middle spill gate is the portion of the dam that collapsed. It is approximately 90 years old.  

Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) shared video of the dam - that broke Tuesday morning - as it spilled tons of water downstream from Lake Dunlap

'Downstream impacts will see passing river flows of approximately 11,000 cfs,' the GBRA said in a tweet

'These flows could pose recreational hazards. Stakeholders are advised to take precautions such as securing boats & recreational property.'

The middle spill gate is the portion of the dam that collapsed. The dam is approximately 90 years old

The middle spill gate is the portion of the dam that collapsed. The dam is approximately 90 years old

In a later post, the GBRA stated that the lake was expected to be drained on Tuesday afternoon. 

'The peak river flow has subsided however, stakeholders & recreationalists downstream should continue to exercise extreme caution as water flows will remain brisk,' they said in a tweet.

No one has been reported injured in connection to the dam breaking. 

'These flows could pose recreational hazards,' the GBRA said. 'Stakeholders are advised to take precautions such as securing boats & recreational property'

'These flows could pose recreational hazards,' the GBRA said. 'Stakeholders are advised to take precautions such as securing boats & recreational property'

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 28, 2019 at 5:48pm


April 26, 2019 11:26 pm

Quebec issues evacuation order in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge as dam could burst

WATCH: A dam that is upstream from the Ottawa River is being closely watched. Emergency officials in Quebec say the Bell Falls Dam is at imminent risk of failure. Mike Armstrong reports from near Grenville-sur-la-Rouge.

Quebec’s Public Security Ministry warns a hydroelectric dam in the Laurentians could fail due to flooding and has issued an evacuation order for the area.

The alert, which was launched at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, is in effect for the Grenville-sur-la-Rouge area near highways 50 and 148 and along Rouge River.

Residents between the Chute-Bell dam and the Outaouais River are asked to leave the area immediately.

“Avoid places near rivers, valleys and low areas,” the alert reads. “Follow the instructions of the local authorities.”

Quebec provincial police (SQ) say they are assisting about 250 residents in leaving the area.

“Police are using all the means at their disposal to ensure people’s safety,” said the Sûreté du Québec on Twitter. “We ask residents of the areas affected by forced evacuations to co-operate with the authorities.”

WATCH: Quebec’s Public Security Ministry warns a hydroelectric dam in the Laurentians could fail due to flooding and has issued an evacuation order for the area. video in link


another link:


Get out now, Quebec tells 250 people downstream from hydro dam on verge of failure

'They told us that there was no time to pack our bags and that we had to leave because the dam was maybe going to break,' Denise Audet said

Ottawa declared a state of emergency, Montreal’s mayor signalled a “very concrete and direct” threat to homes and a dam was on the verge of failure Thursday as flooding worsened in parts of Eastern Canada.

After nearly a week of rising water levels, public security officials in Quebec called for the immediate evacuation of an area along the Rouge River west of Montreal on Thursday because of the risk a hydro dam could fail.

Simon Racicot, director of production and maintenance with Hydro-Quebec, told reporters the dam at Chute Bell was built to withstand what he called a millennial flood.

“That means a flood that happens every 1,000 years,” he said. Hydro workers discovered earlier in the day the millennial level of water had been reached.

“We are confident that the structure is solid,” Racicot said. “But the protocols force us to warn people of the danger. We are entering into an unknown zone right now — completely unknown.”

The largely rural section of river affected is in Quebec’s Lower Laurentians region, about 140 kilometres west of Montreal, stretching about 18 kilometres south to the Ottawa River.

Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault told reporters Thursday evening the province’s hydro utility is confident the dam can hold back its current water reservoir and is structurally sound.

“But we are expecting more rain over the coming hours and days, so the water levels of the Rouge River can rise,” she said in Montreal.

Guilbault said there are 23 residences and 38 cottages in the evacuation zone along the river. Quebec provincial police tweeted they were helping about 250

people get clear of the affected area as a preventive measure.

Provincial police spokesman Daniel Thibaudeau said 40 people had been removed to safety as of 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and the remainder would be taken out over the course of the evening.

Several dozen officers were taking part in the operation with the aid of all-terrain vehicles and helicopters. About a dozen people living in areas not easily reached by land were airlifted out.

Evacuees were being taken first to the town hall in nearby Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, and those with no alternative lodging were being transported to the arena in Lachute, about 40 kilometres away.

Among those headed for the arena were Denise and Martin Audet, who had just returned home from some shopping when they heard police officers yelling that the area was being evacuated.

“They told us that there was no time to pack our bags and that we had to leave because the dam was maybe going to break,” Denise Audet said. She said everything happened so quickly she “didn’t have time to be scared.”

Tom Arnold, mayor of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, said it could be weeks before evacuees can return home, even if the dam holds.

“I don’t have confidence. The worst is yet to come,” he said when asked about the dam’s stability.

Hydro-Quebec said through social media that if the dam breaks, the water

flow would have minimal impact on locations downstream once it joined with the Ottawa River.

According to the utility’s web site, the concrete dam, built in 1942, is 19 metres high and almost 60 metres long. It has the capacity to hold back 4 million cubic metres of water.

The dam scare comes as many parts of Quebec have been hit by flooding. Officials say the flood risk remains high because of a combination of precipitation in the forecast and melting snow to the north.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 13, 2019 at 8:59pm


A “perfect storm” of events is now building toward a cascading collapse of mammoth U.S. dams that will displace millions and destroy entire towns

Dams do their job every day with little fanfare, but when one breaks, the results can be devastating. Imagine entire towns being completely washed away and millions of people losing everything they own and being displaced. It sounds like something out of a big-budget Hollywood doomsday film, but for the millions of people who live near dams, the danger is all too real.

In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast that two thirds of the 48 contiguous states will be facing a heightened flood risk until May. They predict that there could be “unprecedented” levels of flooding throughout the nation that will put 200 million people in danger.

Some of the areas identified as being at the greatest risk include communities near the Mississippi River, where rain and snow levels have been as much as 200 percent above normal, along with the Great Lakes, the Ohio river basin, and the Tennessee river basin.

NOAA National Water Center Director Ed Clark commented: “The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream.”

A combination of rapid snow melt and heavy rainfall inundating the Midwest and plains is fueling the floods, with torrents of rainfall failing to penetrate frozen ground, forcing water to swell rivers and break their banks. As the spring rains continue and snow melts, the flood threat will only be exacerbated.

Flooding has already caused almost $1.5 billion worth of damage in Nebraska, leaving four people dead and one missing. It has damaged hundreds of Midwestern homes so far, and is also being blamed for a handful of deaths in Nebraska and Idaho. Flooding has caused trains to be stopped in Missouri, preventing people and goods from reaching their destinations, and it’s also affecting agriculture significantly, threatening grain stockpiles and killing livestock as tens of thousands of acres get absolutely inundated.

Coastal areas are also being hit by flooding, with NOAA predicting that both the east and west coasts of the nation will experience a greater chance than normal of spring flooding due to high tides.

Nation’s dams not ready to handle all this flooding

Unfortunately, many of America’s dams just aren’t up to the task of handling epic rainfall. Look at what happened with the Oroville Dam in California, which nearly blew out after damage from record-setting rains, threatening to propel a 30-foot wall of water toward Sacramento and everything in its path. The state ultimately had to evacuate 188,000 people in three counties.

Meanwhile, the Fort Peck Dam in Montana is also causing concerns as the upcoming snow melt is coinciding with the Yellowstone Caldera’s seismic activity.

In their Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers said that 15,500 American dams have high-hazard potential, which means that if they fail, it could lead to a catastrophic loss of life. A further 11,882 dams have a “significant hazard potential,” which means a failure might not necessarily cause massive deaths but could cause significant financial losses.

It’s pretty scary to think of how easily a dam can break and how quickly that could wreak massive amounts of havoc and destruction. And what happens when this kind of flooding hits a nuclear reactor? Aging infrastructure and unprecedented rain mean we could be hit by a disaster of epic proportions.

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