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." 

ZetaTalk Chat Q&A: July 18, 2009

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Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on October 23, 2018 at 6:41am


Flooding in Damascus as Dumayr Dam Collapses

Monday, 22 October, 2018 - 08:15

The Syrian capital’s Adra district was left devastated by flooding caused by the collapse of the al-Dumayr dam in the western Damascus countryside on Saturday.

An official told Asharq Al-Awsat: “A real catastrophe has taken place in the Adra suburb and in the industrial city.”

Adra is seen as a vital district in attempts to revitalize Syria’s economy that has been ravaged by years of war.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that a technical malfunction caused the collapse.

The dam has a capacity of 2.150 million liters and lies some 14 kms away from the industrial city. Dam workers were swept away by the rushing waters and many remain missing.

The losses are estimated a millions of dollars, said the official.

Residents of the industrial city were left trapped by the floods for several hours before rescue teams could reach them.

The SANA state news agency reported that two children and a youth in the towns of Deir Muqrin and Kafir Zeit in Wadi Barada were killed. Dozens of houses were also damaged.

Damascus and its suburbs witnessed similar devastating floods last year.

This year’s flooding was compounded by the blockage of drainage pipes.

The Damascus chamber of industry blamed the flooding on poor planning in the city and the rescue teams’ lack of preparedness.

It demanded that authorities take the necessary measures to avert such disasters in the future and to compensate those affected by the flooding.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on September 22, 2018 at 5:43am


Duke Energy: Dam breached at North Carolina plant and coal ash may be flowing into Cape Fear River

Published Fri, Sep 21 2018 • 11:43 AM EDT
  • A Duke Energy dam containing a 1,100-acre reservoir in North Carolina is breached, and may be causing coal ash to flow into the nearby Cape Fear River.
  • Hurricane Florence brought rain measured in feet to North Carolina, followed by rising rivers and standing water in fields.
  • The president of Duke Energy’s North Carolina operations, David Fountain, told CNBC earlier this week that the impact from Hurricane Florence has been the most severe he’s ever experienced.

Floodwaters on Friday breached a dam that contains a man-made lake connected to a Duke Energy power plant in North Carolina, possibly causing coal ash to flow into the nearby Cape Fear River, the company said.

The floodwaters flowed from Cape Fear River into the northern side of Sutton Lake, an 1,100-acre reservoir built in 1972 to cool the L.V. Sutton Power Station. That water caused breaches in the dam on the south end of the lake, which was flowing back into the river, Duke Energy said in a press release.

The 200-mile Cape Fear River flows into the Atlantic at Wilmington, North Carolina.

The Sutton site in Wilmington was home to a coal-fired power plant until 2013, when Duke replaced it with a natural gas power station. Duke dismantled the coal-fired plant by 2017, but the grounds contained about 7 million tons of coal ash in waste pits at the time of its closure. There are still two coal ash basins on site.

The flooding forced Duke to shut down the 625-megawatt natural gas plant, and the company is monitoring the coal ash pits.

Coal ash is a byproduct produced primarily at coal-fired power plants. It contains contaminants harmful to human health including mercury, cadmium and arsenic.

Heavy rain from Florence caused one of the coal ash landfills to partially collapse, Duke reported on Saturday. The incident likely caused coal ash to run off into Sutton Lake, a Duke spokesperson told the AP.

On Friday, Duke said it believes coal ash contained in one of the basins remains in place behind a steel wall that separates Sutton Lake from a site where the waste is still being excavated. That steel wall was under water, the company said, but an earthen part of the dam setting off the basin remained 2 feet above the surface.

Another type of coal combustion byproduct, cenospheres composed mostly of alumni and silica, has flowed from that basin into Sutton Lake and Cape Fear River, Duke said.

The second basin, which contains most of the sites ash, is about 10 feet from the floodwater and has not been affected, Duke said.

Shares of Duke Energy, which were higher before the news hit, rolled over and were down less than 1 percent Friday afternoon.

Hurricane Florence packed high wind and rain measured in feet to the Carolinas, followed by rising rivers and standing water in fields.

Florence made landfall on Sept. 13 as a Category 1 hurricane in a resort town just east of Wilmington, North Carolina’s eighth-largest city. The city of more than 117,000 people has been cut off by floodwaters. At least 42 storm-related deaths have been reported in the region, according to AP.

David Fountain, president of Duke Energy’s North Carolina operations, told CNBC on Monday that the impact from Florence has been the most severe he’s ever experienced.

“I’ve lived in North Carolina my entire life, and I’ve seen a lot of bad storms, a lot of bad hurricanes. But this is absolutely the worst, ” Fountain said.

Property damage and disruption from Florence is expected to total at least $17 billion to $22 billion, but that estimate could end up being on the conservative end, according to Moody’s Analytics.

The company estimates 49,000 homes and businesses were still without power late this week.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on September 20, 2018 at 5:28am


Sanford Dam breaches in Boiling Spring Lakes, water draining at fast rate

Sunday, September 16, 2018 09:09AM
Water is draining at a fast rate after the Sanford dam breached around 7:10 p.m. Saturday due to rains from Florence.

The city, located in Brunswick County, took to Facebook and said the failure of the dam was due to the water volume over the last several days.
The Big Lake began draining at a fast rate along with Pine and North Lakes.
The Emergency Action plan was enacted and the city said no member of the public was at risk.
Several roads are closed for the immediate future, including Alton Lennon, E. Boiling Spring Road and Hwy 87
City of Boiling Spring Lakes, NC
on Saturday

At 7:10 pm this evening Sanford Dam failed due the water volume received over the last several days. The Big Lake will begin draining at a fast rate along with Pine and North Lakes. The City enacted it’s Emergency Action Plan and no member of the public was at risk. Alton Lennon, E. Boiling Spring Road and Hwy 87 are closed for the immediate future.

Comment by KM on September 14, 2018 at 5:06am


Honolulu ready to evacuate

Honolulu officials on Thursday prepared for the possible evacuation of 10,000 people from a residential neighbourhood after rains from a tropical storm dangerously elevated water levels in a reservoir.

Olivia crossed the state Wednesday, dumping heavy rains on Maui and Oahu. Meteorologists say the tropical storm is now downgraded to a tropical depression moving west away from the islands.

The city's Board of Water Supply said Thursday the water level in Nuuanu Dam #1 is about 1.5 feet (0.5 metres) below the spillway.

The agency said it's been siphoning excess water to keep the water below the spillway but rains outstripped its siphoning capacity.

It's also working with the fire department to pump water out of the dam to bring levels down further.

The agency, which is the water utility for nearly 1 million people in Honolulu and surrounding towns on Oahu, said it would co-ordinate with the city on any evacuation notice.

Andrew Pereira, a spokesman for the city, urged residents to be aware of the situation.

"While it appears the rain is subsiding, we are taking a cautious approach and asking residents to remain on alert," he said in an email.

Meteorologists say moisture will linger through Friday, with additional rainfall of 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 cm) and isolated amounts of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) on higher terrain.

That could cause life-threatening flash floods because the ground is already saturated, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said in a statement.

The storm, which was a hurricane earlier in the week, slowly weakened as it neared the state.

President Donald Trump has signed a disaster declaration, which will help FEMA respond, Gov. David Ige said.

Comment by KM on September 8, 2018 at 9:52pm


Tropical Storm Gordon's heavy rains wash away rural Mississippi dam, causing widespread flash flooding

  • Heavy rains are causing a dam breaching on the edge of the Mississippi Delta  
  • The dam is one of more than 500 across the state to control flooding and erosion
  • The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for parts of Carroll County 
  • County saw widespread flash flooding with water entering some homes

A dam is breaching on the edge of Mississippi's Delta region after heavy rains during Tropical Storm Gordon, according to officials. 

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for parts of Carroll County downstream from Murdock Lake, where water was eroding an earthen dam late Friday.

The area near Black Hawk, about 70 miles north of Jackson, received more than 12 inches of rain Wednesday during Gordon according to radar estimates, senior Weather Service forecaster Mike Edmonston said. 

Carroll County saw widespread flash flooding with water entering some homes, and some farmers said their crops were significantly damaged.

Heavy rains are causing a dam breaching on the edge of the Mississippi Delta, an arial view shows the dam 

Heavy rains are causing a dam breaching on the edge of the Mississippi Delta, an arial view shows the dam 

Dusty Myers, chief of the dam safety division for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, said there's one main breach where water is penetrating through the dam.

'It seems to be holding a lot better than I would expect,' Myers said. However, he said it was still likely that the dam would fully breach. 

He said if it didn't wash away, officials would have to dig a trench to breach the dam themselves because it's unsafe.

'There's really not anything we can do as far as preventative action,' Myers said.

Three houses have been evacuated in the rural area. The Mississippi Highway Patrol is blocking off Mississippi 16 and other roads, as water is expected to rise up eight to 10 feet on Abiaca Creek by Saturday.

Edmonston said the flash flood would likely dissipate by the time it reached the table-flat Delta, about 15 miles west.

Mickey Kiker walks down a flooded street with his girlfriend's grandson 5-year-old Cooper O'Brien after Tropical Storm Gordon 

Mickey Kiker walks down a flooded street with his girlfriend's grandson 5-year-old Cooper O'Brien after Tropical Storm Gordon 

The dam is one of more than 500 across the state built with federal aid to control flooding and erosion. 

Myers said this one is owned by the Abiaca Creek Drainage District. He said the Department of Environmental Quality had inspected the dam a few weeks ago. The inspector noted vegetation on the dam, which can create voids that water can travel through. But Myers said problems appeared minor, noting rain may have pushed water to a record high in the lake.

'Nothing was really a glaring problem th` I was aware of that would have alerted us that this dam was going to fail,' he said.

Myers said seven to eight dams fail each year in Mississippi, and said rural drainage districts can sometimes have trouble maintaining decades-old structures.

'This is one of the bigger ones in the last few years,' Myers said of the 60-acre lake.

A dam south of Jackson failed in February, sending water and debris rushing across a major four-lane highway.

Flood waters from Tropical Storm Gordon are seen in front of a house in Alabama 

Flood waters from Tropical Storm Gordon are seen in front of a house in Alabama 

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on September 2, 2018 at 12:27am


Four dead, three missing following dam breach

YANGON — Four people have died and three remain missing after a dam breach flooded a huge area of northern Bago Region, an official has confirmed.

Daw Phyu Lai Lai Htun, a director in the Department of Disaster Management, said more than 36,000 people had also been displaced by the flooding as of August 30.

The Swar Chaung Dam breached its banks early on August 29, inundating nearby Yedashe and Taungoo townships, damaging a bridge on the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway and closing the Yangon-Mandalay Highway.

State media reported that the breach flooded Swar town and 85 villages, affecting more than 60,000 people.

Phyu Lai Lai Htun said the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement was providing cash to flood victims so they could buy rice. 

“The water level receded yesterday,” she said. “But the rise in the water level of the Sittaung River at Taungoo has increased the number of people affected. We can’t say yet when the water will subside.”

Those missing included a Tatmadaw major, a driver and a grade five student, she said.

The government was still calculating the damage caused by the flooding, including the destruction of homes and infrastructure, she added.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on August 31, 2018 at 4:47am


Thousands flee homes in Myanmar as dam breach floods 85 villages


Latest update : 2018-08-30

As many as 85 villages were flooded in Myanmar after a dam failed, unleashing waters that blocked a major highway and forced more than 63,000 people from their homes, a state-run newspaper said on Thursday.

The disaster spotlights safety concerns about dams in Southeast Asia after last month’s collapse of a hydroelectric dam in neighbouring Laos that displaced thousands of people and killed at least 27.

Firefighters, troops and officials launched a desperate rescue effort on Wednesday after the spillway of an irrigation dam burst at Swar creek in central Myanmar, sending a torrent of water through villages and the nearby towns of Swar and Yedashe.

Flooding at the dam site has receded, Zaw Lwin Tun, the deputy director general of the Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department, told the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper.


The collapse is caused by the damaged spillway,” the paper quoted him as saying. “The dam is in good condition.”

The ruptured spillway had flooded 85 villages, affecting more than 63,000 people and submerging a section of highway, the paper added.

Days earlier, authorities had given the all-clear to the dam, which can hold 216,350 acre-feet of water, despite residents’ concerns about overspill, state-run media have said.

Traffic between Myanmar’s major cities of Yangon and Mandalay and the capital, Naypyitaw, was disrupted after the flooding damaged a bridge on the highway linking them.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on August 24, 2018 at 5:58am


7 shutters of Mukkombu dam washed away: Alert sounded in downstream areas

A sudden increase in the Kollidam River resulted in the shutters being washed away, but officials say the nearby areas aren’t in immediate danger.
Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 09:22

A portion of the Mukkombu dam near Trichy was washed away on Wednesday evening. According to reports, at least seven shutters of the regulator across Cauvery River was washed away along with the piers due to a sudden increase in the Kollidam River’s water flow. However, the officials claim that there is no immediate danger to the surrounding areas.

Officers from the Public Works Department (PWD) attribute the cause to the heavy flow of water during the heavy rainfall period. They have also reportedly sounded an alert in the downstream areas of the river.

In the past few weeks, the Cauvery River has been receiving around 2 lakh cusecs of water from Karnataka due to the heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of Krishnarajasagara and Kabini dam.

The Kollidam River is essentially a flood carrier and begins from the Upper Anicut. The Upper Anicut is an important structure that was built to divert surplus waters into the river which will ultimately drain into sea.

With the heavy discharge into the Cauvery River from Mettur dam, over 1.50 lakh cusecs of water got diverted into the Kollidam from the Upper Anicut for more than three days last week, as per reports.

A few days back, a portion of the old road bridge across Kollidam River had collapsed owing to heavy water flow. As per reports, a portion of the pier of the Kollidam River’s old steel bridge developed cracks and started to cave in. The main reason for the bridge to collapse was the fissures in the 18th pier which broke and vanished inside the waters.

The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority had also claimed that there was no danger due to the collapse and that people living in and around the area need not panic.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on August 17, 2018 at 6:47am


Officials prepare for dam failure at Falcon Lake

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on August 3, 2018 at 7:49am


BREAKING: Potential College Lake Dam failure spurs evacuations in Lynchburg, Virginia

AccuWeather meteorologist
August 03, 2018, 12:53:38 AM EDT

College Lake Dam outside Lynchburg, Virginia is reportedly overflowing and on the brink of failure due to recently heavy rainfall. If the dam fails, portions of Lynchburg would reportedly flood within minutes.

Lynchburg, Virginia is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 50 miles east of Roanoke.

"Lynchburg has received 1.35” of rain so far on Thursday and 1.64” so far this month," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said

However, upstream rainfall can also contribute to rising water levels.

"3 to 6 inches of rain has fallen across the area since Sunday afternoon with the heaviest falling in the towns of Timberlake and Forest," Rathbun said.

fb image Lynchburg dam 8/3

Flooding at the University of Lynchburg on Aug. 3, 2018. Facebook/ Joni L Organ

Residents of threatened areas are being asked to evacuate. According to the National Weather Service, water levels in Lynchburg could reach 17 feet in just 7 minutes if the dam breaks, swiftly inundating homes and businesses.

"More rain is expected across the area through Friday which can keep the dam failure risk high," Rathbun said.

Static Friday Friday Night Downpours 3 pm

Until a dry spell in the weather pattern occurs or the water can be safely released, dam failure will continue to be a threat.

Anyone living in low lying areas by the dam should seek higher ground immediately, even if official evacuations are not ordered.

The Lynchburg Sheriff's Office has opened an area auditorium for evacuees, including pets, to spend the night.

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