Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

A Crack in the Dam


On our way home from Montana, we usually take I-90 West from Spokane to Seattle and then follow I-5 north to the Canada-US border. 136 miles east of Seattle we stay at a very nice campsite on the Columbia River at Wanapum State Park.

It’s a lovely bit of greenspace in an otherwise dry scrubland. Approaching on I-90 from the east, we turn left for the state park, while to the right is a very neglected private campsite, picturesque but in disrepair.


This year when we stopped at the state park, we had a surprise. We had no idea that the dam that is just to the south of the park on the Columbia River had a crack in it and Wanapum State Park had been closed since April of this year.


See the dam on the far right, above? Click on the link to read the news story of the crack in the dam. Click on the follow up story here.


The  photo above was taken in 2013.  The potential power behind this weight of water is mind-boggling.

This year’s photo below shows a much lower water level. The lower level was meant to take pressure off the 2-inch crack that ran along the dam for 65 feet.

Apparently, the release of pressure helped the crack to come together again and repairs are being made. Meanwhile, for the safety of the boating and camping public, the state park and access to the boat launching areas had to be closed.


It was quite a shock to see the Columbia River so low here. A lot of shoreline that I had never seen before, was exposed.

We hope the repairs will be done as expected by next fall. We look forward to staying at this little oasis again.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

13 thoughts on “A Crack in the Dam

  1. Interesting chain of events. I’m a little surprised that it never made it to the news that we get here, not all that far away.


    • They were probably trying to keep it quiet, but it was in the paper that I gave the link for (Seattle, I think it was). Way back in February though. And because it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, they might think, who would care?


  2. I remember when we drove through the Mountains of Northern Calif. a few years ago and there had been quite a long drought. Lake Shasta had a very low water level and it looked so barren and forlorn. Forgotten by Mother Nature.
    Nice photography Anneli


  3. Wow … read the two links, what a disaster it would be if that amount of water was to gush down a river… It just goes to show the power of water… But to read that a miscalculation in the planning stages of the dam was the reason for it is mind boggling…


  4. When are we going to see some of your work in NatGeo?


  5. Very nice pics again! How awful – a cracked dam!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A nasty surprise, but at least it wasn’t a drowned campground you came upon this year!


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