- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Spirit Lake, located just north of Mount St. Helens, is at risk of overflowing after engineers found the lake’s drainage tunnel is shrinking.

KGW-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1cGwSZH ) that the Spirit Lake Tunnel was built after the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. Ash and debris blocked the lake’s natural outlet into South Coldwater Creek. The 1.6-mile tunnel was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide an outlet.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman said the tunnel had an opening of 8 feet, 6 inches in October 2013. Last month the uplift reduced the opening to 6 feet, 8 inches.

Emergency repairs are expected later this year. If the tunnel were to fail due to collapse, the lake could fill up and overflow.

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Information from: KGW-TV, https://www.kgw.com/


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