Ryan Burns / Wednesday, Jan. 24 @ 11:04 a.m.
(VIDEO) BOOM! Copco 1 Dam Blast Sends Middle Klamath River Flowing Freely For the First Time in a Century
Turn your volume up, if you can, and behold the spectacle of a tunnel getting blasted at the base of the 101-year-old Copco 1 dam on the Klamath River.
The detonation happened yesterday, sending water and sediment down the river canyon to the sea at an estimated rate of 4,000 cubic feet per second.
Here's footage of the blast, via Swiftwater Films, which is producing a feature-length documentary on the dam-removal project and the 20-year campaign to get there.
And below is footage of the newly freed river flowing through Wards Canyon. The clip was shot by Frankie Myers, vice chairman of the Yurok Tribe and candidate for California Assembly's District 2 seat.
"Our community is overwhelmed with joy and hope for the future generations," Myers said when reached by the Outpost this morning. "Truly thankful for for all those who put in a day or a lifetime to make this possible."
According to Swiftwater Films' description of the blast, 800 pounds of dynamite was used to blow a concrete plug out of a 90-foot tunnel that crews blasted into the base of the dam last summer.
"[A] surge of water barreled several miles past the former Copco 2 dam and the majestic Wards Canyon that had been mainly dewatered for a century and into newly formed river channels in the former Iron Gate Reservoir," the company said.
Drawdown of the reservoir at J.C. Boyle is now under way. In total, four dams are slated to be destroyed by fall of this year.
another view of yesterday's footage of the January 16 blast of J.C. Boyle Dam:
- Ground Has Been Broken on Klamath River Restoration, the World’s Largest-Ever Dam-Removal Project
- (PHOTOS) Removal of Copco No. 2 Dam Complete, Restoring Klamath River Flows to Ward’s Canyon for the First Time in 98 Years
- (VIDEO/PHOTOS) Iron Gate Reservoir Drawdown Has Begun as Dam Removal on the Klamath Continues