February 2, 1995 in Nation/World

Wwp Wants Message Heard Loud And Clear Speakers Along River May Let People Know When Dams Are Opening

By The Spokesman-Review

Washington Water Power Co. hopes woofers and tweeters will prevent screamers when dams are opened on the Spokane River.

The power company has asked permission from the city of Spokane to install six sets of speakers between the Division Street and Monroe Street bridges. They’ll be used to warn people when WWP plans to flood the spillways at its dams, said Dana Anderson, company spokeswoman.

Fishermen and other river users sometimes walk in the dry riverbed, Anderson said. The company is worried someone will drown in the flood that comes when the spillways are opened, usually in the spring.

“The announcement they make is `Clear the area. Spillways about to open. Move to higher ground,”’ Anderson said. “They repeat that canned message about once every minute for about 15 minutes.”

The company has installed speakers at its dams at Post Falls and at the Cabinet Gorge and Noxon Rapids dams on the Clark Fork River in Montana.

“You’re probably looking at only once a year when they’re going to be used,” said Don Boston, chief dam operator at Post Falls.

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