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That’s the Garrison Dam in North Dakota.  It is one of six dams that comprise the principle flood control of the Missouri river and part of the protection for the Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant I have written about here Would a little American nuclear emergency make you look up? We're having one and here Fire Knocks Out Spent Fuel Cooling at Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant

The Missouri River is in flood stage.  The Missouri River is in 100 year flood stage and according to one source I cite in the diary if we roll snake eyes on our luck not only is a nuclear power plant criticized for it’s lack of flood preparedness in danger, but St. Louis may end up to their armpits in water.  

...Barring any other issues, the gates will stay open and all 28 of them should be in use by next week, raised slightly higher to increase the flow rate.
The gates will contribute about 65,000 cfs to the full release of 150,000 cfs scheduled to start sometime next week.

Meantime, the corps expects the lake behind the dam will continue to rise to 1,856 feet elevation. The new record elevation will occur because the top of the spillway is higher when the gates go up and because of the bulge of water expected from mountain snowmelt. ...

Bismark Tribune link supplied and edited by Kossack Into The Woods


As alarming as that might be the true issue may not be with the Garrison Dam, but the Fort Peck Dam the first dam in the system.  Here is a scenario taken from Bernard Shanks a guest commentator from the St. Louis website.

The Fort Peck Dam is built with a flawed design that has suffered a well-known fate for this type of dam — liquefaction — in which saturated soil loses its stability. Hydraulic-fill dams are prone to almost instant collapse from stress or earthquakes. California required all hydraulic-fill dams be torn out or rebuilt — and no other large dams have been built this way since.

At three miles wide, Fort Peck Dam last opened its floodgates 36 years ago. By the end of the first week in June, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be releasing a record spill of water. The corps recently answered the question of possible failure with a statement the dam is "absolutely safe." It may be the largest at-risk dam in the nation.


Here is a likely scenario: Garrison, Oahe and three other downstream earthen dams would have to catch and hold a massive amount of water, an area covering nearly 250 square miles 100 feet deep. But earthen dams, when overtopped with floodwater, do not stand. They break and erode away, usually within an hour. All are full.

There is a possibility a failure of Fort Peck Dam could lead to a domino-like collapse of all five downstream dams. It probably would wreck every bridge, highway, pipeline and power line and split the heartland of the nation, leaving a gap 1,500 miles wide. Countless sewage treatment plants, toxic waste sites and even Superfund sites would be flushed downstream. The death toll and blow to our economy would be ghastly

St. Louis Today link to an opinion piece.

Originally posted to An Adept's Journey on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 12:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Re-published to Nuclear Free DK (5+ / 0-)

    hope that is all right Adept

    thanks for these updates

  •  Re-publish to Dam Free DK . . . (0+ / 0-)

    Dams represent a far greater threat to life and environment than nuclear plants do, but they are widely ignored.

    Thanks for calling attention to this one . . . you should also look into what the failure of Shasta Dam would do to California's Sacramento Valley . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 12:34:11 PM PDT

    •  Why do people try and tell me what to write? (5+ / 0-)

      You should do a diary about dam danger in California, but unlike the red states we actually yank out dangerous facilities.  In Nebraska they apparently build nuclear facilities below them and then don't do a good job in building them to survive floods.

      Like I said yesterday too stupid for nuclear power.

      Every moment in life contains an off ramp. Never be afraid to use it.

      by Adept2u on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 12:37:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't know . . . who did that ? ? ? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm just thanking you for calling attention to the horrible environmental hazard posed by these dams.  They are far from the only ones . . . the death rate from dam failures is substantial,, property damage is huge, and both are under reported and largly ignored.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 12:52:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  this is "entertaining" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u, Kitsap River

    News over the network combined with a stream of disasters has become generically ominous. I thought that the BP spill would/could turn out worse(?) than it did on an apocalypse now scale, the juries out about exactly how bad Fukushima can get months later. At the time I was reasonably optimistic that they'd have it together. Now I'm worried about going to Chiba in August. Floods, wildfires, extreme weather events. Personally 2011 took a fasten-those-seatbelts turn in Jan. The big wide outside world seems on the same page.

    Thanks for filtering this stuff through. For some reason I'm finding natural disasters more entertaining than political talking head contact sports. And my DSL bill is paid for a few months ...

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 12:35:51 PM PDT

    •  DONT GO (6+ / 0-)

      Yeah I know the radiation is low, it wont hurt you, it's good on corn flakes, I get it.

      The weather is straight out weird!

      An unusual heat burst occurred shortly after midnight on June 9, 2011, across the Wichita area. The temperature jumped some 15 to 20 degrees in a matter of 15 to 20 minutes, rising from the low to mid 80s to around 102 degrees. The sudden rise in the thermometer was accompanied by a downburst of winds that gusted to near 60 mph in some locations.

      The heat burst was first noted on the west side of the city around 12:30 am. The temperature rose from 85 degrees at 12:22 am at the Mid-Continent airport to 102 degrees at 12:42 am. Winds gusted to around 45 mph. Several other observations across the west side showed a temperature jump into the mid to upper 90s. The heat burst shifted to the east side of the city after 1 am. A similar jump in the temperature was noted at both Jabara airport and McConnell Air Force Base rising to near 100 degrees shortly after 1 am this morning. The hot burst of air was also very dry...with dew point temperatures dropping from the 60s into the 20s and 30s.

      The burst of hot air in the middle of the night was likely the result of showers and storms which dissipated about 30 to 60 minutes prior to the heat burst being felt. The rainfall evaporated as high level air descended from the dying storms. This air compressed and warmed significantly as it descended...resulting in a hot blast of air at the ground. Environmental conditions with the presence of dry air aloft have to be just right to produce the rare occurrence of a heat burst.

      Tornados in Chile and Ireland

      Every moment in life contains an off ramp. Never be afraid to use it.

      by Adept2u on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 12:42:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  hey if it was just me ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adept2u, Kitsap River

        I'd get a handheld and get as close to the exclusion zone as I could and set up a site with maps etc ...

        And it turns out I might not have to travel too far:
        Radiation spike in/near Tokyo.

        My issue is my kids and that the Japanese I'm related to aren't interested in hearing about potential dangers. They think it's cute I'm concerned about the cousins living in Chiba.

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 12:58:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  St Louis will be fine for the most part from this (4+ / 0-)

    flooding.  The Missouri and Mississippi meet around St. Louis.  The Mississippi is 'fine' for this time of year around STL.  It's just going to make things down in LA last quite a bit longer.

    STL came within 2 feet of going under in the '93 floods.  The '93 floods involved both the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers going full bore.  STL isn't in much danger from only one of the rivers surging through.  There will of course be some flooding in the lower lying areas, but it shouldn't be too far out of 'normal'.  There's lots of farm land that the water can go into before getting to STL.

    Now, if the dams were to go.... all bets are off.  For everyone.

    I'm going to be making a trip over to Sioux Falls next week.  I'm going to have to check out where I29 may be closed down due to the flooding.

  •  Wow. If you add the situation with the (4+ / 0-)

    Mississippi River down in Louisiana there with the Control Structures, you get a simple disaster scenario that fulfills many a New Ager's prophecy for one of the major earth changes. That is, that the country will be divided by large bodies of water in what is now lower middle America.

    Cascading dam failures on the Missouri lead to the failure of the Old River Control Structures on the Mississippi River which then changes course and Baton Rouge, New Orleans and the American Rhuhr become history.

    No one is outside the circle of the heart

    by kafkananda on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:20:08 PM PDT

  •  Adept2u-Maybe send this to the President? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u, Kitsap River

    Curious about the respective stance on all this with  state govs...

    Thank you for bringing this ( & prior diaries) to so many eyes.  I hope with all my heart that catastrophic disaster can be averted by addressing the crumbling-archaic infrastructures in the USA as well as updating disaster preparedness.  

    Sadly, even though the USA has experienced multiple disasters just since 2001, I am not overly confident that real lessons from each have been truly assimilated yet.

  •  Gotta Wonder Where Ft Peck Dam Fits Into (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u, Kitsap River, Tinfoil Hat

    the ASCE Report Card for America's Infrastructuresummary that includes this excerpt from their section on the US inventory of 'dams':  

    The number of dams determined to be unsafe or deficient has risen from 3,500 in 2005 to 4,095 in 2007.3 Of that number, high hazard potential dams that are also classified as deficient has risen from 1,367 in 2005 to 1,819 in 2007.3

    We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

    by Into The Woods on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 06:39:28 PM PDT

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