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January 30, 2015

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President Obama visits Hoover Dam


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

President Barack Obama talks with Janel Brawner-Potucek, left, and Rob Skordas while visiting the Hoover Dam on a break from debate preparations Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Skordas is the assistant dam manager for history and operational logistics and Brawner-Potucek is from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 | 5:15 p.m.

Obama visits Hoover Dam

KSNV reports that President Barack Obama visited the Hoover Dam for the first time, Oct. 02.

Obama Visits Hoover Dam

President Barack Obama talks to the media while visiting the Hoover Dam during a break from debate preparations Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Hoover Dam Aerial Tour

A bird's-eye view of Hoover Dam and the Hoover Dam Bypass. Launch slideshow »

Map of Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

Boulder City

Beyond the Sun

Like many visitors who come to Las Vegas, President Barack Obama made his way Tuesday to the Hoover Dam.

Shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday, the president’s motorcade left the Westin Lake Las Vegas, where Obama is spending three days preparing for his upcoming debates with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, for the famed dam, constructed during the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration.

Obama, according to press reports, learned from an aide his hotel was only 15 minutes away from the dam and said, "Well, we've got to go check it out."

Wearing a blue and white checkered collar shirt with sleeves rolled up and khaki slacks, Obama got out of the car to take a look. He was greeted by Rob Skordas, assistant dam manager for history and operational logistics, and Janel Brawner-Potucek, of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Obama also visited the transformer deck and powerhouse at the base of the dam. Members of the media were not allowed to follow.

"It's spectacular and I'd never seen it before," Obama told reporters of the dam.

Here’s what Obama may have learned during his visit to the national landmark:

• Construction on Hoover Dam, first known as Boulder Dam, began on April 20, 1931, and was completed on March 1, 1936, at a cost of $49 million. (Multiply that number by 13 or 14 and that’s about what it would cost in today’s dollars.)

• The dam stands 726.4 feet tall from foundation rock to its crest — second highest in the country to the Oroville Dam — and spans 1,244 feet. It is 660 feet thick at its base and 45 feet thick at the top.

• If placed on a scale it would weigh about 6.6 million tons.

• More than 4 million cubic yards of concrete were used to build Hoover Dam. And the concrete was poured in sheets just six inches thick and cooled with tubes that cycled refrigerated water from the Colorado River.

• The project provided the Southwest with protection from flood damage, generated electricity at reduced rates and guaranteed a water supply to irrigate thousands of acres of farmland.

• Turbines from the 17 power generating units produce 2,080 megawatts of electrical power — enough to meet the needs of 1 million to 1.5 million people for one year.

• California gets 56 percent of that power, including 15 percent for Los Angeles. Nevada gets 25 percent of the power generated by the dam, although Las Vegas gets just 4 percent. Arizona gets the remaining 19 percent.

• Lake Mead is the dam’s reservoir, encompassing 157,900 acres or 247 square miles. It has been shrinking significantly in recent years because of the region’s record drought.

• The dam is operated by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation. In 1981 the dam was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and four years later it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The president's motorcade returned to the Westin Lake Las Vegas at about 2:30 p.m.

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  1. and the endless obama vacation continues...

  2. Seven graphs about the President's visit and nine graphs about the Dam. Seems about right.

  3. I wonder if seeing the dam might inspire him to build more of them instead of the wind/solar. There is a huge amount of construction involved and as we see they last quite a long time.
    Then again, I wonder what he thought as he looked out at the water marks so high on the rocks and intakes..another problem!

  4. Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering, but there are bridges, dams, roads and other infrastructure all over the U.S. that badly need funds for repair.

    Such spending has often been used to help the country move out of recessions. Now, we have multiple needs that can be met, jobs and infrastructure repairs. Good match.

    Let's not forget that in decaying infrastructure, people's lives are effected. They could experience life threatening injuries, even death, due to some of the infrastructure failures.

    I can't fault President Obama for going to see Hoover Dam. It is quite a sight to see. I am happy he did.

    Here is a helpful link for those who are suffering so much from Obamaitis.

  5. What school did he go to where they did not teach you about the other Depression and Hoover Dam??

    Maybe Obama learned something from the trip... That you can have government contracts that give kickbacks to campaign supporters AND create real jobs that stimulate the economy!

  6. I'm glad President Obama took a moment from his trip to visit the Dam. It's truly an engineering marvel.

    However, it seems the truth is poison to Traeger.

    This tired old retread of something that Tucker Carlson himself reported on in 2007? Only the most gullible fall for Tucker's "scary black man!" schtick.

    Watch Tucker cover this speech in 2007... on his show... on MSNBC:

    Watch it and weep, Mark.

    Had you been watching MSNBC, you would've known about this speech 5 years ago, Mark. Instead, your slavish devotion to right-wing media has left you looking pretty silly.

    Heck, even Fox News covered Obama's reference to Pastor Wright in 2008. Watch it and weep, Mark:

    Hey, here's a story by the AP/CBS News on Obama's speech:

    Read it and weep, Mark.

    Why are the slavish sycophants of right-wing media so gullible?

  7. Still as gullible as ever, I see. Why do you keep falling for this hogwash, Mark?

    Tucker Carlson covered the speech in 2007... on his own show.

    Are you calling Tucker incompetent? Doesn't that undermine your own argument?

    Tucker covered it. Fox News covered it. The AP covered it.

    This kind of half-baked logic of yours is so easily debunked. Don't believe everything you read on the internet, Mark.

  8. "Not seen on msnbc."

    C'mon, let's hear more of your wacky conspiracy theory.

    Why didn't Tucker cover all this in 2007?

    I mean, he had a segment on the speech on his show:

    It's there for anyone to watch.

    You didn't watch it, obviously, because if you did, you'd realize how silly you sound.

    Did Keith Olbermann waterboard Tucker? Did David Axelrod threaten Tucker's family? Did Rachel Maddow hold his dog hostage?

    What's the excuse... err, conspiracy, Mark?

  9. "They covered what was "released" to the press. Not the racist,divissive remarks that the LPOTUS ad-libbed in the speech."

    This is debunked by FOX NEWS!

    Watch Fox News cover Obama talking to Rev. Wright... what you and Tucker claimed was NEVER BEFORE SEEN! Fox broadcast this in 2008:

    You've fallen for this charade! Hook, line and sinker. You should really do a bit of critical thinking before you post any more of this wacky conspiracy theory, Mark.

    Your conspiracy doesn't add up.

  10. I don't know what y'all are talking about..Tucker Carlson..some speech?
    Tell you the truth..if it doesn't have anything to do with lady parts..or carnage..preferably, carnage --> somewhere else..most people aren't interested...