Federal agency checks stability of Ochoco Dam

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PRINEVILLE, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will begin collecting soil samples in early April at the Ochoco Dam in Prineville to ensure the stability of the dam in an earthquake.

The Bend Bulletin reports that the work is part of the federal bureau’s Safety of Dams program, which is focused on the integrity of its dams.

Dam safety drew nationwide attention in February when nearly 200,000 people were evacuated due to the threat of a breach at the Oroville Dam in California.

Crews will work in April near the toe of the dam’s downstream face. Crews will collect soil samples from the embankment and foundation at six drill sites to refine existing Ochoco Dam studies for seismic stability.

The dam holds back Ochoco Creek water and stores winter snowmelt for the Ochoco Irrigation District, which provides irrigation to the surrounding area.

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