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  Oregon Earthquake   Earthquake Could Damage Oregon Dam  

Story by Jan Wesner Childs - Story Source
Published on Saturday March 20, 2021 - 1:45 AM
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A major earthquake could unleash "potentially catastrophic" flooding from a dam in Oregon that would threaten the state capital and other communities downstream, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Officials said the dam, near the town of Detroit about 45 miles southeast of Salem, is not otherwise in danger of failure.

"People downstream of Detroit Dam should feel really confident in the condition of this infrastructure," Dustin Bengtson, Willamette Valley Project deputy operations project manager for the Corps, told the Statesman Journal. "We're just being extremely conservative in our risk assessment given the critical values and the thousands of people that live downstream."

The Corps released a draft environmental assessment this month that calls for reducing maximum water levels in the dam's reservoir by 5 feet to reduce pressure on the spillway's gates.

"There is a low probability of a large earthquake that could result in a breach of the spillway," the report states. "However, a breach would result in a potentially catastrophic flood if it occurred and risk