Video of the blowing of Condit Dam and freeing of White Salmon River

7 Nov

“The 125-foot tall dam, built in 1913 on the White Salmon River​ in Washington State, emptied the contents of its reservoir in just over two hours.”

Seattle Times:

Located three miles from the river’s confluence with the Columbia, taking out the dam is expected to reopen about 33 miles of habitat for steelhead and about 14 miles for chinook, depending on how well different runs of fish contend with natural falls in the river.

Thanks to 98 years of silt depositing the power output of the hydroelectric dam has been slowly decreased over the years… to the point that the local utility company decided it was more economical to take it down than to bring it up to modern environmental standards.

“Well folks, October 26th, 2011 is certainly a day that will go down in history. After the Blaster in Charge yelled “fire in the hole!” and ignited the charges, the White Salmon was explosively set free for the first time in 100 years.  The lake took less than 2 hours to drain, carrying an incredible amount of sediment and debris downstream to the Columbia.  Now, a more gradual process begins–the erosion of millions of cubic yards of trapped silt, the return of threatened salmon and ultimately the complete removal of Condit Dam.”

Explosive Breach of Condit Dam from Andy Maser on Vimeo.

Some notes on the immediate aftermath and ecological rebuilding:

http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/oct/27/condit-dam-projections-reality-studied-following-b/

 

And Andy Maser’s site with tons of detail, pics, info, etc:

http://whitesalmontimelapse.wordpress.com/

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