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65-foot crack found in major state dam

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WASHINGTON STATE – Federal regulators have been dispatched to Washington state to review a 65-foot-long crack discovered in a major dam, utility officials said.

The 2-inch-wide crack was found Thursday after divers were sent into the Columbia River because engineers detected a misalignment in a spillway on Wanapum Dam near the central Washington town of Vantage, said Tom Stredwick, a spokesman for the Grant County Public Utility District.

 A spillway is the part of a dam that controls the release of water downstream.
The water levels along the 8,320-foot-long dam are being drawn down about 3 feet per day to reduce pressure on the structure while inspectors investigate, the utility district said.