Field Notes: a Northwest nature blog
One of the reasons many of us live in the Pacific Northwest is the natural wonders that amaze us all. On this blog Seattle Times writers and photographers will share their explorations of the natural world from snowcaps to whitecaps. Write us at email@example.com with your own sightings, questions and wonders to share.
The Elwha River transformed already
Posted by Lynda V. Mapes
Have you looked at the web cams on the Elwha River lately? Have a look at this: the Elwha River, without the powerhouse, surge tank or transmission lines. The remake of the landscape is already incredible, just a few months in to dam removal:
The landscape of the Elwha is dramatically different already, with the powerhouse out of the picture. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service
As of mid-December, the transmission lines were gone, and now the powerhouse, a signature monument to the river's use for hydropower for nearly 100 years, is history, too. The surge tank is toppled, and has been hauled away in hunks. Much of of the material will be re-used or recycled, according to the park service.
The big progress continued on land during the fish window that shut Nov. 1, with work in the river ruled out by the fish migration underway in the lower river. With the salmon runs over for the year, biologists say, demolition on the dams was set to get underway again today.
For more updates, check out the National Park Service's restoration blog.
To appreciate just how dramatic the change is that already been accomplished at Elwha Dam, here's a reminder of what the dam looked like just six months ago:
Elwha Dam on June 1, the day the hydroelectric generators where shut off for good. Now the entire powerhouse, surge tank, and all of the transmission lines are gone, too. Steve Ringman, photo.
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