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Wanapum Dam stabilizing after water levels drop

Wanapum Dam

Officials with the Grant County Public Utilities District report that a cracked area on a Wanapum Dam spillway are stabilizing as water levels behind the dam have dropped.

HydroWorld.com reported earlier this week that a 65-foot-long by 2-inch-wide horizontal crack was discovered in one of Wanapum's 12 spillways in late February, leading Grant PUD to begin a drawdown upstream of the structure.

The utility said yesterday that the lowered water levels "confirm that the section is becoming more stable" and that public safety remains its "top priority".

Water levels have fallen to around 543 feet above sea level, down from a normal elevation of about 570 feet.

The dam is also home to a 1,038-MW Wanapum hydroelectric plant. Grant PUD said it will continue generating power despite the drawdown.

The facility is a sister plant to the Priest Rapids project. Combined, the two have an output capacity of nearly 2,000 MW.

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