CRESCENT BAR — The Grant County PUD has dropped the reservoir behind Wanapum Dam to a historic low while crews and consultants examine a large crack discovered in one of the dam’s support pillars. The draw-down has exposed wide expanses of Columbia River beach, normally submerged. Plenty of people explored the beaches along the inlet to Crescent Bar Island Sunday. The low water removes pressure on the dam, making it safer to crews and consultants to examine the damaged area. PUD officials don't yet know how long the draw-down will last.
Although the wide expanses of beach are tempting, PUD officials say riding ATVs is prohibited along Columbia River shorelines, as is metal detecting or otherwise removing items found. Such acts are considered looting, Chuck Allen, PUD spokesman said today, and could be subject to penalties.