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Amazing what a crack can do

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Oh, what havoc can be wreaked by one narrow crack in one pier in one spillway at one dam on the mighty Columbia. We are finding out the hard way, and in the process learning just how much we rely on every dam in the river.

A common purpose of an editorial is to find fault, to point with alarm, criticize, lay blame, at least suggest where there is room for improvement, but in this situation that’s not only impossible but pointless. There is a 2-inch-wide, 65-foot-long crack at the base of one concrete pier on one of 12 spillways at Grant County PUD’s Wanapum Dam. It was discovered Feb. 24 after an observant employee noticed the spillway deck looked a bit wobbly. In three days divers had found out why — the pier was cracked.

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