Firefighters help open dam gates

Firefighters sprayed water on Orono Dam.

Elk River firefighters assisted Elk River Municipal Utilities in opening the gates at Orono Dam recently.
Right: Firefighter Tristan Nicka and Captain Jeff Smith of the Elk River Fire Department sprayed water on the dam so the frozen gates could be opened.

Fire Chief T. John Cunningham said firefighters helped dislodge the ice that forms around the gears.
Steve Ziemer of Elk River Municipal Utilities said he wanted to make sure he could run the dam’s gates to lower the lake level if necessary.
It’s especially critical this time of year with spring run-off and higher water levels.
The dam’s gates were opened on March 21 to allow the level of Lake Orono to drop.
“Thanks goes out to the fire department for doing that for us,” Ziemer said.

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