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And speaking of dams...did everyone see this?


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Yes, I saw it. How situations like this happen in the first place.....welll, its very tragic so I don't want to preach.

 

The K3 flows fast. Its not just the dams that are dangerous. Even those of us who have "experience" wading these rivers can never be too careful. Its always good to have a buddy with you.

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Yet another example of why they are good for nobody.

The Wilmington Dam in particular serves no purpose whatsoever.

Rather than spending all that money on the Danger signs, they should have just installed the fence like they discussed- making it a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine for trespassing.

Rip out the dam, or fence it off....but if you are going to do that, there better be some way for rescuers to reach the canoeists and boaters that tend to get sucked over it as well.

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Here's the release from yesterday's press conference:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 20, 2006

 

Lt. Governor Quinn, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Capital Development Board announce statewide assessment of dams

 

Study will focus on dam safety on key public waterways in Illinois

 

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) today announced the State will hire an outside engineering firm to conduct a statewide safety assessment of dams on Illinois public waterways.

 

The firm will examine publicly owned dams on key navigable waterways including the Fox, Rock, and Kankakee rivers. It will focus on structural and safety issues associated with each dam, along with recommendations for improving public safety at each site.

 

“Today the State of Illinois is taking an important step toward protecting the safety of everyone who enjoys our beautiful rivers,” said Lt. Gov. Quinn. “By their very nature, these river dams are dangerous to fishermen, swimmers and boaters. This safety assessment will help us to identify those dams that should be removed, and will enable us to create other effective safety measures for dams that remain in place.”

 

“The recent tragedies in Wilmington and Yorkville serve as horrible reminders of just how dangerous these structures are,” said IDNR Deputy Director Deborah Stone. “Dams still serve a variety of purposes for the state and individual communities, but it’s clear that expert recommendations must be made to prevent these structures from taking more lives.”

 

The IDNR has identified 25 dams on the Fox, Rock, Kankakee, Des Plaines, Sangamon, and Vermilion rivers that are considered “Run of the River” dams, sometimes referred to as “low-head” dams. These structures are built across a river or stream for the purpose of impounding water, where the impoundment at normal flow levels is completed within the river banks. All flow passes directly over the entire dam structure, excluding abutments, to a natural channel down stream.

-more-

 

“We realize this is an urgent situation and stand ready to provide whatever assistance we can for this vital work,” said CDB Executive Director Jan Grimes.

 

The CDB will oversee the engineering contract. The assessment should begin in early fall with completion by mid spring.

 

“All dams pose threats, but these low-head structures are the ones that seem to be the most dangerous,” said IDNR Office of Water Resources Director Gary Clark. “While we conduct this assessment, we strongly urge the public to respect the power that dams possess and stay away from them.”

 

The engineering firm being sought for this project will develop safety enhancement alternatives for both short term and long term at the dams, including the possible removal of any hydraulic rollers, which can create a strong undercurrent below the dam. They will also work with DNR’s Office of Water Resources to recommend standards for public safety measures at the Run of the River dams, including signs, boat barriers, buoys, fencing, markings and clear zones.

 

“It is critically important to communicate the risks posed by these dams, in a way that is clearly understandable to all,” Quinn said.

 

In addition the engineering firm will also document the location, type and condition of all public safety measures at the state’s Run of the River dams; document the structural conditions of the dams and the channel riverbed conditions at a minimum of 500 feet upstream and downstream of the dams; assess access to the dams for maintenance and emergency services use; assess existing boat portage and boat launch facilities and the adequacy of them for safe boat passage around the dams; and assess how remaining hydropower operations impact public safety at those dams.

 

The IDNR coordinates with a number of other agencies regarding dam safety, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates hydropower dams for compliance with federal statutes, and the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers, which operates and maintains the locks and dams on the Ohio, Mississippi, and Illinois rivers, as well as other agencies regarding dams they own, operate or regulate.

 

“This statewide assessment, coordinated with ongoing IDNR dam safety efforts, will help tell us where the most significant problems are and what we can do to fix them,” Grimes said.

 

 

-more-

Publicly owned dams to be surveyed

 

Rock River

 

∑ Sears Dam

∑ Steel Dam

∑ Lower Rock Falls Dam

∑ Sinnissippi Dam

∑ Oregon Dam

 

Kankakee River

 

∑ Momence Dam

∑ Kankakee Dam

∑ Wilmington Millrace Dam

∑ Wilmington Dam

 

Fox River

 

∑ Yorkville Dam

∑ Montgomery Dam

∑ Aurora East Dam

∑ North Aurora Dam

∑ North Batavia Dam

∑ Geneva Dam

∑ St. Charles Dam

∑ South Elgin Dam

∑ Kimball Street Dam in Elgin

∑ Carpentersville Dam

∑ Algonquin Dam

∑ William G. Stratton Lock and Dam in McHenry

 

Des Plaines River

 

∑ Hoffman Dam

 

Sangamon River

 

∑ New Salem Dam

∑ Riverside Dam

 

Vermilion River

 

∑ Danville Dam

 

 

 

-30-

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Guest rich mc

last week there was almost another. a jet skier got to close to the top of the algonquin dam on the fox. he was rescued as he hung on to the cable that ran across the river. jet ski went over

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Yorkville is on there, Tim- under the Fox River heading.

Very interesting to see the Wilmington Mill Race dam on the list!

It used to be a concrete wall, and according to local lore it was dynamited some years back, for reasons best left to one's imagination. That thing serves no purpose whatsoever and is as dangerous as any dam can get.

It's nothing but chunks of concrete that were blown out of the wall, with loosened chunks and trapped debris flying out of the thing willy-nilly.

I have spent many a night perched atop that wall, and had some remarkable smallmouth experiences there- but it needs to be cleaned up once and for all.

 

The Momence dam is only on one half of the river, but the wash looks deadly as well.

 

Wilmington Mill Race (Broken Dam):

 

 

 

Momence:

 

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From the IDNR Website-

There was a near-miss in July below the Wilmington Dam as well!

 

WEEKLY ACTIVITY REPORT

July 19, 2006

 

A CPO responded to a report that a person was drowning at Wilmington Dam on Saturday. A 15 year old male had entered the boil area of the dam after repeated warnings from his parents to stay away and became caught in the current. His father attempted to rescue him and also became caught in the boil. After rotating within the current for 30 seconds or so, the father was able to escape the current. The son was caught in the current for a few more seconds and was able to be rescued by onlookers. The CPO arrived just as the boy had been rescued. The boy was completely wrapped up in fishing line and was not even able to attempt to swim during the time he was caught in the boil. The CPO cut the fishing line away and assisted emergency staff in transporting him to the ambulance. Both individuals are fine. Wilmington dam is not owned by the IDNR, but rather, the City of Wilmington. As such, Wilmington Police handled all reporting duties and media inquiries. The Wilmington Dam is prominently posted in English and Spanish restricting people from wading or swimming.

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WOW!

 

Its bad enough to be sucked up into the undertow, let alone not being able to move your arms. Maybe that helped him?

 

I thought I saw an article once about how to survive a fall over a dam. If I remembered correctly (which is getting harder these days) it said that attempting to swim out of the undertow, while instinctive, saps your strength and leads to drowning. I don't recall what the recommendation was for getting out of that situation (other than don't get into it in the first place).

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WOW!

 

Its bad enough to be sucked up into the undertow, let alone not being able to move your arms. Maybe that helped him?

 

I thought I saw an article once about how to survive a fall over a dam. If I remembered correctly (which is getting harder these days) it said that attempting to swim out of the undertow, while instinctive, saps your strength and leads to drowning. I don't recall what the recommendation was for getting out of that situation (other than don't get into it in the first place).

 

 

I recall reading, after the Wilmington incident: if one was caught in this situation, let the force of the water take you down, there is a chance it will bounce you out beyond the undertow. People drown when they instictively fight the undertow and tire.

 

I recall reading, after the Wilmington incident: if one was caught in this situation, let the force of the water take you down, there is a chance it will bounce you out beyond the undertow. People drown when they instictively fight the undertow and tire.
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