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Commentaries and editorials

Dams Critical for Flood Control

by John M. Nelson
Tri-City Herald, March 22, 2018

Ice Harbor Dam (USACE Digital Visual Library) Re: Decision On Dam Removal Has Murray And Newhouse At Odds (Feb. 23):

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", George Santayana.

I suggest both Dan Newhouse and Patty Murray consider looking up Vanport on their smart phones, and then ask Portland if it would like to comment.

Once Oregon’s second largest city, Vanport literally vanished in the Memorial Day flood of 1948 before our "flood control" dams tamed the Columbia and Snake rivers. They might also like to ask the ghosts of those whose homes once lined the Columbia River along the old US-12, now called Columbia Park Trail; or they might even consider reading about the folks who sat on top of the hill east of Richland High School to watch their homes and barns wash away by floods long ago.

(bluefish points to Wikipedia) "To prevent future incidents, Congress enacted the Flood Control Act of 1950 which spawned projects such as the Priest Rapids Dam. The flood also resulted in the 1961 Columbia River Treaty and later the construction of Libby Dam in Montana."
Comment by Clark Wilkins, Washington State University

The lower four dams are not for flood control. They serve just the opposite purpose. They are for barge navigation. Without them there wouldn't be enough water draft. And for that purpose they're no longer needed as railways can do the same for less.


John M. Nelson, Richland
Dams Critical for Flood Control
Tri-City Herald, March 22, 2018

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