The scientific tourist #244 — now where’d that dam go?

Here’s something you don’t see every day — or maybe I should say, something you don’t see, that doesn’t happen every day.  In this case, it’s a 100-year-old dam that just recently got removed:

The Elwha Dam -- gone!

This is the site of what used to be the Elwha Dam on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula.  The dam was constructed (haphazardly, and missing a number of required items like fish ladders) in 1912.  So while it originally helped provide power for the town of Port Angeles, it and it’s upstream companion Glines Canyon Dam managed to do severe damage to the salmon runs in the area.

The removal of the Elwha Dam started in the fall of 2011, and as you can see above, when this photo was taken (summer of 2012), it was gone.  Meanwhile, the Glines Canyon dam is being removed and should also be gone by the summer of 2013.  If you find yourself in the area in the meantime, you can drive by to watch the work.  Otherwise, you can follow along online

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