May 21, 2011 |
Thousands of people marched Friday in Santiago to protest a proposed hydroelectric project in southern Chile that critics say will spoil much of the pristine and biodiverse Patagonia region that is an increasingly popular eco-tourism destination. The $3.2-billion HidroAysen project calls for construction of five dams on the Baker and Pascua rivers in the country's Aysen region. It is expected to increase the electrical power supply by 15% when construction is completed in 2020. The project has received less international publicity than the proposed Belo Monte power project on the Xingu River in Brazil's Amazon, which would produce four times the energy.
May 11, 2011
Water won't wait Re "Messing with Devil's Gate," Editorial, May 6 I lived in La Crescenta during the great flood of 1938. I remember listening to radio reports that Devil's Gate Dam was in imminent danger of collapsing. Fortunately it didn't, and the Arroyo Seco and the communities below were saved from a deluge of mud and water. The fact that the dam's basin has been allowed to fill with sediment over the years is a sign of ignorance and mismanagement. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors should make clearing out the basin a top priority.
May 6, 2011
Disaster is often more foreseeable than we think. Remember the warnings for years before Hurricane Katrina that the New Orleans levees were in dire need of renovation? In that case, as in many others, top officials were given the information they needed, but they put off doing anything about it. The echoes of such tragedies should be ringing in the ears of Los Angeles County supervisors who have kept the Department of Public Works from clearing out the mud-choked basin above Devil's Gate Dam in Pasadena.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2011 |
On the northernmost edge of Pasadena lies Devil's Gate Dam, a massive concrete barrier designed to be the last line of defense during massive storms. But now, that dam basin is full of mud with little room for floodwater. Under a worst-case scenario, torrential rains could send mud, rocks and water over the dam and flooding into the Rose Bowl, South Pasadena and northeast Los Angeles in less than 40 minutes. Despite stern warnings by Public Works employees that immediate action is necessary to remove the mud, the county Board of Supervisors instead ordered a two-year environmental study before any significant work can begin.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2011 |
Icy lake water has swamped the kayak hut and gangplanks at Pleasure Point Marina, and owner Roy Brownie couldn't be happier. After near-record amounts of snow and rain in the San Bernardino Mountains over the last year, wind-blown waves are cresting over Big Bear Lake's 74-foot dam and have forced the agency managing the lake to release water downstream for the first time in 15 years. For Brownie, the bountiful snowmelt has scrubbed away the residue of the most recent dry spell, which brought a 17-foot drop in lake levels, years of cracked-earth shorelines and, at the lowest point, a gratis rain dance by a sympathetic Shoshone shaman.
February 24, 2011 |
The FBI has arrested a young Saudi citizen in Texas who was allegedly amassing bomb components for a string of attacks on a dozen hydroelectric and reservoir dams in California and Colorado and former President George W. Bush's home in Dallas, which he disparaged as the "tyrant's house. " Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, who attended a community college near Lubbock, Texas, and allegedly kept a detailed journal outlining plans for attacks, was charged with attempting to build and use a weapon of mass destruction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2011 |
Several weeks of debate over the fate of a grove of oaks and sycamores in the Arcadia highlands have left a community at odds, even after nearly 200 trees were bulldozed by Los Angeles County work crews. At least 179 coastal oaks and about 70 sycamores were uprooted and ground into wood chips on an 11-acre site just below Santa Anita Dam to make way for 500,000 cubic yards of sediment to be dredged from behind the structure. Three of four tree-sitters arrested after a 12-hour standoff Wednesday with Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were released on their own recognizance Thursday after being charged with misdemeanor counts of trespassing and obstructing a police officer.
January 12, 2011 |
Residents of Brisbane, Australia's third-largest city, braced Wednesday for potentially monumental flooding as a river overflowed its banks from a combination of rain, runoff and the forced release of large amounts of water from a dam that had been designed to protect the city from raging storms. At least 40,000 properties were expected to be affected by the overflowing Brisbane River, as water let out of the Wivenhoe Dam to the north bore down on the city at a rate of 7,000 cubic meters a second.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2010 |
San Gabriel Dam operator Herbert Romero led 16 engineers clad in hard hats and yellow vests down a long flight of metal stairs on Wednesday to a cast-iron wheel on a ledge overlooking a stream bed a few miles above Azusa. At 9 a.m., Romero turned the wheel, opening one of the earth-and-rock dam's two 123-inch-diameter valves. The ground rumbled and water blasted forth with a roar in a horizontal stream more than 200 feet long, as if from a mammoth rocket engine. The biannual release of water at a rate of up to 3,800 cubic feet a second was needed to ensure that the dam, as high as a 25-story building, would be able to control floods out of the San Gabriel Canyon's 200-square-mile watershed.
October 15, 2010 |
A new bridge soaring across the Colorado River uniting Arizona and Nevada was formally dedicated Thursday, eliminating a 75-mile detour around Hoover Dam. Named for heroes from different wars, the bridge will be the key part of a faster route between Phoenix and Las Vegas. It is the Western Hemisphere's longest single-span concrete arch bridge and one of the highest in the world, officials said. The 1,900-foot bridge, which is 890 feet above the river, is part of a $240-million four-lane bypass that will shift traffic away from the two-lane U.S. 93 across Hoover Dam. It is about 1,500 feet south of the dam and crosses over Black Canyon.