The following new release came from PPLs website: http://www.pplmontana.com/

 

PPL Montana continues effort to reduce water flow past Hebgen Dam

Engineers from PPL Montana continue to work on ways to reduce the flow of water past the Hebgen Dam after damage to the dam’s intake structure allowed water flows in the Madison River to increase to spring runoff levels. The dam remains safe and stable, according to on-site monitoring equipment, and the river banks are containing the water flow.

A plan to install a specially fabricated steel bulkhead to reduce the flow was halted over the weekend after water pressure and turbulence from the flowing water made it impossible to install guides that would have held the bulkhead in place.

“We are considering several other options to reduce the water flow,” said Brad Spencer, vice president and chief operating officer of PPL Montana. “With the dam stable and the flow contained in the riverbanks, we are able to work deliberately and cautiously to ensure the safety of the public and of everyone involved.

“We appreciate the public’s patience as we work to solve this situation,” Spencer said. “We understand the inconvenience this has caused to people who use the river and the lake for recreational activities, and we’re doing everything we can to resolve it as soon as possible.”

PPL Montana has brought in experts in heavy construction and engineering to consult on ways to reduce the flow of water. The company has been keeping local officials informed since the damage was discovered Aug. 31.

The dam creates Hebgen Lake, a reservoir just north of the Idaho border that stores water for the Madison-Missouri river system, where there are eight PPL Montana hydroelectric dams.

PPL Montana operates coal-fired power plants at Colstrip and Billings and 11 hydroelectric plants along West Rosebud Creek and the Missouri, Madison, Clark Fork and Flathead rivers. It has a combined generating capacity of more than 1,200 megawatts and has offices in Billings, Butte and Helena. PPL Montana is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL).