Failing Columbia River dike threatens deer refuge

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CATHLAMET, Wash. (AP) -- A dike near the mouth of the Columbia River near Cathlamet is failing, and a collapse could flood part of a 2,000-acre refuge for endangered Columbian white-tailed deer.

The Wahkiakum County public works director, Pete Ringen, says river current has eroded the dike and it could suddenly fail.

The Daily News reports (http://is.gd/iyJNiq) flooding at high tide could affect habitat for an estimated 100 deer in the mainland part of the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge. The refuge also includes islands in the Columbia and is home to about 300 of the deer.

The cost of repairing the dike is estimated at $3 million to $4 million. The county is hoping for federal money to pay for the work.

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Information from: The Daily News, http://www.tdn.com