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 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.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 8, 2019 at 4:36am


Dam with mine waste collapses in Brazil; 7 dead, 200 missing

April 6, 2019

SAO PAULO — A dam that held back mining waste collapsed Friday in Brazil, inundating a nearby community in reddish-brown sludge, killing at least seven people and leaving scores of others missing.

Parts of the city of Brumadinho were evacuated, and firefighters rescued people by helicopter and ground vehicles. Local television channel TV Record showed a helicopter hovering inches off the ground as it pulled people covered in mud out of the waste.

Photos showed rooftops poking above an extensive field of the mud, which also cut off roads. The flow of waste reached the nearby community of Vila Ferteco and an administrative office for Brazilian mining company Vale SA, where employees were present.

“‘I‘ve never seen anything like it,” Josiele Rosa Silva Tomas, president of Brumadinho resident‘s association, told The Associated Press by phone. “It was horrible … the amount of mud that took over.”

Silva Tomas said she was awaiting news of her cousin, and many people she knew were trying to get news of loved ones.

Cattle are covered by mining debris after a mine collapsed near Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. Brazilian mining company Vale SA said it didn’t yet have information on deaths or injuries at the dam but said that tailings have reached the community of Vila Ferteco. (Leo Drumond/Nitro via AP)

Seven bodies had been recovered by late Friday, according to a statement from the governor‘s office of Minas Gerais state.

Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman said he did not know what caused the collapse. About 300 employees were working when it happened. About 100 had been accounted for, and rescue efforts were under way to determine what had happened to the others.

“The principal victims were our own workers,” Schvartzman told a news conference Friday evening. He said a restaurant was buried by the mud at lunchtime.

Another dam administered by Vale and Australian mining company BHP Billiton collapsed in 2015 in the city of Mariana in Minas Gerais state, resulting in 19 deaths and forcing hundreds from their homes.

Considered the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history, it left 250,000 people without drinking water and killed thousands of fish. An estimated 60 million cubic meters of waste flooded rivers and eventually flowed into the Atlantic Ocean.

An aerial view shows flooding triggered by a dam collapse near Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. Brazilian mining company Vale SA said it didn’t yet have information on deaths or injuries at the dam but said that tailings have reached the community of Vila Ferteco.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on March 26, 2019 at 2:10am


Brazilians Evacuate Minas Gerais Over Fear of Dam Collapse

BRAZIL: On Saturday, the mining company Vale called for residents of the state of Minas Gerais to evacuate after reports that a dam in the region could collapse. The company had raised the risk level to the highest grade in the mining town of Barão de Cocais on Friday. The high-risk level indicates that “a rupture is imminent or already happening,” according to Brazil’s mining and energy secretary.

Four hundred and forty-two people were previously evacuated from within a 10-kilometer radius of the dam in February. The evacuation comes after a Vale-operated dam collapsed in the city of Brumadinho in January, burying 154 people alive and killing a total of about 300.

another link:


Brazil dam in danger of collapse, mining company warns

Updated 3:00 pm PDT, Sunday, March 24, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian mining giant Vale announced communities in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais have been ordered to evacuate after independent auditors found one of its dams could collapse at any moment.

On Friday, the company raised the level of risk at a mining waste dam in the city of Barao de Cocais to three, the highest grade. According to Brazil’s mining and energy secretary, level three means that “a rupture is imminent or already happening.

Residents within a 6-mile perimeter of the dam had already been told to leave by state authorities in February after Vale raised risk levels to grade two, a company spokesperson told the Associated Press. The spokesperson, who asked not to be identified, said 442 people had been relocated to temporary housing or with family members since February.

Lt. Col. Flavio Godinho, of the state’s civil defense department, told reporters that authorities are studying the Barao de Cocais structure to review the existing contingency plan.

“Any activity at the dam could trigger a rupture,” Godinho said on Globo TV.

The news comes nearly two months after another Vale-operated dam in the nearby city of Brumadinho collapsed, unleashing a wave of toxic mud that contaminated rivers and killed about 300 people. continues...

Comment by Juan F Martinez on March 19, 2019 at 9:00pm

This is what is left of the Spencer Dam in Nebraska.  Disastrous flooding has struck parts of the Plains and Midwest, inundating towns and damaging infrastructure. These before-and-after images give a view of what some of the hardest-hit locations in Nebraska and Iowa are dealing with.

3-18-2019 Update: https://weather.com/news/news/2019-03-17-flooding-before-and-after-...

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on March 2, 2019 at 6:54am


Supervisors Concerned Already Damaged Dam Could Collapse

With more rain in the forecast, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday morning for an emergency meeting to discuss the damaged Audubon dam.

The dam, located in Audubon subdivision, adjacent to the Northpointe subdivision, eroded after more than 11 inches of rain fell in Lafayette County Friday and Saturday, causing a huge hole that was – and still is – in imminent danger of collapsing.

The dam is owned by the Audubon homeowners association.

Emergency Management Director Steve Quarles said steps were taken Saturday to reduce the water level in the dam, however, more rain is expected to start this afternoon through Sunday.

“There are no houses in danger of flooding right now,” said Supervisor Jeff Busby.

The danger, according to County Engineer Larry Britt, is the damn failing completely with the coming rain which would cause water to go under a private road and blow out the lift station there which could cause sewage to leak out onto the ground and into the streams.

County Building Official Joel Hollowell said the homeowners association can’t afford to make the immediate emergency repairs before the rains move in later today.

The supervisors agreed to spend about $1,000 to allow county road crews to shore up the dam.

“We are not completely repairing the dam,” Busby said. “We are just getting it to a safe level so the homeowners’ association can repair it.”

To allow county crews to make the emergency repairs, the supervisors needed to find there is a public health and safety risk so crews could go on private property and adopted a proclamation of an “existence of a local emergency commencing at 5 a.m. on Feb. 22, 2019.”

The board also approved adopted a resolution requesting that Gov. Phil Bryant proclaims a state of emergency for Lafayette County due to the damaged roads and structures during the heavy rains last week.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on February 14, 2019 at 5:57am


Fears for up to 38 miners trapped in flooded Kadoma mine after dam bursts

22:47, 13 Feb 2019

An emergency was declared at 11PM on Tuesday when a dam burst, and water blanketed the area

KADOMA – Up to 38 artisanal miners are feared dead after water from a collapsed dam flooded their positions at two underground mines in Battlefields between Kadoma and Kwekwe.

Emergency services were activated on Wednesday to look for survivors and retrieve bodies after rains overnight Tuesday pounded the area leading to the collapse of a dam wall.

The water swamped the area, creating sinkholes and flooding the mine shafts used by the illegal miners.

Police said between 23 and 38 miners are believed to have gone underground at Silver Moon Mine and at Cricket Mine on Tuesday evening. Cricket Mine is owned by RioZim, while Silver Moon is owned by a Baxter.

An emergency was declared at 11PM when the dam burst, and water blanketed the area.

Mashonaland West police said water levels at the two underground mines were still rising, raising fears that the rescue mission has now turned into a recovery mission.

“We have the Civil Protection Unit on the ground leading the rescue and recovery effort, but before that can begin the water must be drained out first. This requires heavy duty pumps because we are still seeing the water levels rising,” said Inspector Clemence Mabweazara, the provincial police spokesman.

Cecilia Chitiyo, the Mashonaland West provincial administrator, said they had sent an SOS to nearby mines as well as major miners like Zimplats to send in their rescue teams.

By Wednesday evening, she said they had deployed a pump from RioZim but more were needed.

Wilson Gwatiringa, the RioZim spokesman, said the company would be issuing a statement on Thursday after assessing the situation.

Mine deaths involving illegal miners are commonplace in Zimbabwe, and many go unreported

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on February 12, 2019 at 7:27am


Burst dam in Bandung kills three

Bandung   /   Sun, February 10, 2019   /   12:14 pm

Heavy rains in Bandung, West Java and its surrounding areas on Saturday night caused the dam holding the Cinambo River in Pasar Jati, Bandung regency to burst, resulting in flooding that claimed three lives.

The flooding hit residential areas in Cigending subdistrict, Ujungberung district and several houses in the Endah regency complex, where eight people were dragged away by the strong currents.

The Bandung search and rescue (SAR) office said three people, including a baby, had been declared dead, while five people had been rescued.

The victims were identified as Phida, 40, Hani, 25 and Raifan, 1.

“The joint SAR team has moved all residents affected by the flooding to a safer location,” Bandung SAR spokesperson Joshua Banjarnahor said on Sunday.

He added that the flooding had receded and that evacuations had been completed.

“Therefore we suggest that the SAR operations be closed,” he said.

Meanwhile in Bandung municipality, a flood carried away a resident and killed the man.

Joshua said the body was found in drainage about 3 kilometers from where he was carried away. The body has yet to be identified. (kmt)

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