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Posts Tagged ‘Mud Mt. Dam’

Originally published in The Seattle Times, January 27, 1957

By Lucile McDonald

An almost forgotten structure on the White River is shown in part in the Page 1 color illustration of today’s Magazine Section. It is a drift barrier of concrete piers and cables, built some 40 years ago in an effort to prevent driftwood jams and control floods. The barrier is in the Muckleshoot Reservation, southeast of Auburn. It is reached by way of a road between Newaukum and the Academy District.

An almost forgotten structure on the White River is shown in part in the Page 1 color illustration of today’s Magazine Section. It is a drift barrier of concrete piers and cables, built some 40 years ago in an effort to prevent driftwood jams and control floods. The barrier is in the Muckleshoot Reservation, southeast of Auburn. It is reached by way of a road between Newaukum and the Academy District.

Washington has a river which nobody wanted … the White.

Today the White River’s waters pour into Puget Sound through a channel 20 miles shorter than the one it followed for untold centuries.

Until 1906 the stream flowed northward into the Green River, thence to the Duwamish and the “salt chuck.” Today it empties into the Puyallup, at Sumner, by way of the Stuck—a river which, technically speaking, has disappeared, although its name still is used by Auburn residents and appears on a state-highway bridge.

All of these rivers were once parts of the same great basin, its fingers extending into the mountain valleys. The land, built up by glacial action, eroded easily and the stream channels, made when the area was emerging from the sea, were unstable and sinuous. In flood seasons they sprawled out of banks.

The White River, with its deep mountain canyon and drift jams, was especially menacing and farmers had no love for it. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 13, 1948

Army engineers finish valve system

By Fergus Hoffman

Penstock valves: Like the glowering mouths of naval guns, the polished valves of Mud Mountain’s three 8-foot penstocks jut from beneath the control tower built into the solid rock of the outlet gorge. The penstocks, one on top and two below, are carried in, a 2,000-foot-long tunnel which is rammed straight through the solid mountain rock beside the dam. When this picture was made, only one of the three valves was open, jutting its terrific force against the canyon wall. (U. S. Army Corps or Engineers photo by R. A. Lee.)

Like the glowering mouths of naval guns, the polished valves of Mud Mountain’s three 8-foot penstocks jut from beneath the control tower built into the solid rock of the outlet gorge. The penstocks, one on top and two below, are carried in, a 2,000-foot-long tunnel which is rammed straight through the solid mountain rock beside the dam. When this picture was made, only one of the three valves was open, jutting its terrific force against the canyon wall. (U. S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by R. A. Lee.)

MUD MOUNTAIN DAM, June 12.—Like a thousand crystal geysers rocketing into canyon sunlight from a 2,000-foot torpedo tube, the White River is earning its name today.

Thunderously white, spurting and spraying against the cliffs of a narrow gorge with-rock-polishing force, the White River has been tamed by Mud Mountain Dam, but the taming has dramatized the hitherto prosaic mountain stream which once posed an annual flood threat to the downstream valley.

Now, after 10 years of work and 12 million dollars in financing, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has control of the river, this last step due to completion this week of the valve system.

Only one valve, controlling one of the three eight-foot penstocks—or pipes, is open. (more…)

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