Dam debris poses threat on Elwha River




PORT ANGELES — Olympic National Park is warning rafters and swimmers about metal debris on the Elwha River where the Elwha Dam used to be.

KOMO-TV reports the park’s website says that portion of the river poses “high risk of serious injury or death.”

The dams were removed in 2012 but not all of the debris was visible. Four years of erosion is revealing what was missed.

The debris forced Olympic Raft and Kayak to shut down. After seeing the debris in the rapids, they decided it was too dangerous.

Divers have found twisted metal rods, rusted rebar and metal pilings sticking out of what was the dam’s concrete foundation. The metal could impale an unknowing swimmer or puncture a raft.

A park spokeswoman says they’re working with the Army Corp of Engineers to develop a plan to deal with the debris.