The Eugene Water and Electric Board is hoping to get one of two malfunctioning roll gates on the Leaburg Dam repaired by mid-January.
One of three roll-gates broke down on the 85-year old dam on the McKenzie River in 2012. EWEB has been working on repairs and hopes to have it back in operation in a couple of weeks. Late last month, a 2nd roll-gate malfunctioned. EWEB spokesman Lance Robertson says the utility hasn’t yet determined why. He says the dam is basically out of commission- with only one gate working.
"Well, we're not able to generate any electricity right now from Leaburg. You know, it's an important source of really low-cost energy for us. We do have a surplus of energy right now. It's not like we have to go out and buy expensive power on the market right now."
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife had to remove thousands of trout and salmon from two hatcheries on the McKenzie because the dam malfunction cut off their water supply. This week, a truck hauling salmon crashed, killing 11 thousand hatchery salmon. Officials say the driver may have been drunk.