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Hydro Powerhouse Flood Repairs

Diamond Island 2

Basement floor erosion

Emergency design services to repair a flood-impacted powerhouse and return it to service.

In 2019, flooding caused the collapse of a non-critical powerhouse storage floor in a hydropower facility originally built in the early 1900s in Upstate New York. The powerhouse is home to three vertical turbine-generator units and has a FERC license exemption.

During the flooding event, water was flowing everywhere – over the dam, under the parking lot and around and through the powerhouse, including the area that supported the basement floor. The strong waters eroded the basement floor foundation in a matter of hours. Operators realized the floor had failed and immediately shut the plant down to prevent possible damage until an inspection, evaluation and repair plan could be developed.

The multi-disciplinary Bergmann team responded quickly to an emergency plant closure by visiting the site on the same day they were contacted. With the team’s dam safety expertise, knowledge of the river flow and rock formation and an understanding of the owner’s perspective, we devised a cost-effective strategy that would expeditiously return the facility to service.

The following services were provided:

  • Inspection of failure and leakage of powerhouse floor
  • Recommendation for an interim monitoring plan
  • Design of temporary bracing for powerhouse walls adjacent to floor
  • Design of permanent repairs to the powerhouse floor
  • Recommendations for sinkhole repair in parking lot adjacent to powerhouse
  • Design a stabilization plan to repair the shoreline upstream of the powerhouse