Columbia River water lowered

The Grant County PUD lowered the reservoir behind Wanapum Dam by 20 feet to relieve the pressure on a support pillar with a 65-foot long crack. The lower water level reached Crescent Bar Island near Quincy.

EPHRATA – Grant PUD is paying to investigate 45 new locations containing artifacts of Native American tribes.

During the reservoir drawdown of Wanapum Dam for repairs, Eastern Washington University’s Archeological Historical Services found the new locations of artifacts and possible human remains.

The Grant PUD is spending an additional $900,000 to Eastern Washington University to find, study and protect Native American sites near Wanapum Dam.

The commissioners voted unanimously to extend the existing contract with the university. The contract was first signed in 2009 and was set to expire this year.

There are 1,450 recorded sites with more than 600 eligible for the National Registry of Historic Places, according to PUD officials.

When the work is completed, the contract will cost the utility about $5.86 million.

Under their license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to run the dams, the PUD is required to investigate and preserve cultural sites found on their property.

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