dams

Emily Schwing/Northwest News Network

Towns in central and northeast Washington are under flood watches as rivers swell from rapid snowmelt in the mountains.

In the small Washington border town of Oroville, the Okanogan River is above flood stage and the river is expected to begin flooding south as the week progresses.

Flickr Photo Courtesy Richard Kassan

A nearly 100 year-old dam near Leavenworth, Washington, is under heavy pressure from melting snow this week and officials are warning downstream residents to be prepared to evacuate if the dam breaks.

Grant County PUD

Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River in southeast Washington state has multiple leaks and structural problems.

The dam is made up of large sections of concrete and steel bound together by 50-foot-long layers of grout. Now, at least four sections of the grout are failing and causing leaks.

Grant PUD

In Central Washington, Grant Public Utility District officials have declared what they’re calling a “non-failure emergency” at the 1950’s-era Priest Rapids Dam northwest of Richland. 

Crews discovered leaking in the dam’s spillway structure when they were drilling inspection holes.

Jack Williams / OSU Special Collections & Archives/ Flickr - tinyurl.com/yd2ala3k

The White House is blocking money to build new tribal housing along the Columbia River. That’s according to five members of the Washington and Oregon congressional delegations.

Sam Beebe / Flickr - tinyurl.com/ycbokzax

If Northwest fish were stand-up comics, the salmon would be the headliner. And the fish that gets “no respect” would be the lamprey, an eel-like creature that has been plying the Northwest’s rivers for 400 million years. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The state of the salmon population in Idaho’s Snake River was the topic of a passionate discussion during a conference hosted by members of Idaho’s Nez Perce Indian tribe over the weekend.

California Department of Water Resources

Northwest residents are surrounded by thousands of dams, some in disrepair. And now the emergency at California’s Oroville Dam has sharpened interest in dam safety.

Grant County PUD

A surgeon at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said the serious burns to five electricians and dam operators injured in Thursday’s explosion at Priest Rapids Dam in central Washington are consistent with "arc flash."

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Updated -- Officials with the Grant County Public Utility District say an electrical equipment failure is to blame for an explosion at Priest Rapids Dam Thursday that injured six workers, two critically.

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