Crews perform oil spill drill at Dexter Reservoir

Crews perform oil spill drill at Dexter Reservoir »Play Video
Crews practiced deploying booms to contain an oil spill at Dexter Reservoir on Wednesday, November 13.

LOWELL, Ore. - Oil spills don't just happen at sea: On the Middle Fork of the Willamette River on Wednesday, crews prepared for the worst case scenario.


The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, McKenzie Rural Fire District, Eugene Water & Electric Board and other groups spent most of Wednesday out at Dexter Dam rehearsing for an oil spill.

Similar to an oil spill at sea, crews had to deploy booms, boats and water skimmers as if a real emergency had taken place.

Inside most hydroelectric dams is machinery oiled and lubricated by tens of thousands of gallons of oil.

The Dexter Dam, in a worst case scenario, could leak 58,000 gallons into the Willamette River, and crews practiced for a spill.

The last time a spill occurred on the river was last year when a fuel truck spilled unleaded gasoline into the river. The techniques being practiced Wednesday were the same techniques used then.