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Jun-19-2007 15:54TweetFollow @OregonNews
Fire at Detroit Dam Powerhouse Halts Electricity GenerationSalem-News.com
Extent of damage unknown but no risks posed to people or environment.
(SALEM, Ore. ) - An electrical fire in the Detroit Dam powerhouse on the North Santiam River last night caused the shutdown of power generation equipment at the facility.
The incident poses no health risk to residents in the area or environmental risks to the lake or the river, announced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Shortly after midnight, a fire broke out on the lower level of the Detroit Powerhouse.
Staff was evacuated and emergency procedures put in place to extinguish the fire and secure the facility.
The outage does not affect the Corps' ability to produce and distribute power from any of its other Willamette Valley facilities.
"Our primary objective today is to keep people safe, get the smoke cleared, check air quality and put auxiliary power in place for pumps to keep the powerhouse from flooding,” stated Dwane Watsek, chief of operations for the Corps' Portland District.
Following clearance from local emergency authorities and using air-purifying respirators, a Corps team will mobilize today to assess the damage to the powerhouse, investigate the cause of the fire and develop a detailed recovery plan.
The Corps halted power generation indefinitely and water typically released through the powerhouse is now being released over the spillway to maintain river flow and provide for fish listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Detroit Dam is one of 13 multi-purpose dams operated by the Corps of Engineers in the Willamette Valley.
The dam stores water from the North Santiam River, providing flood damage reduction, irrigation, power generation, recreation, navigation, and downstream water quality improvement.
The powerhouse contains two generator units with the capacity to produce a total of 100,000 kilowatts.
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