“The Boulder City Fire Department is en route to an emergency call at Hoover Dam. No further information is available at this time,” Boulder City said tweeted at 1:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
A Twitter user named Kristy Hairston shared a video at 1:11 p.m. ET and said she was “touring the Hoover Dam” when she “heard an explosion.”
“My goodness, something just exploded,” a witness can be heard in the video.
Closer to 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, Boulder City tweeted that “the fire was extinguished before the Boulder City Fire Department arrived on site.”
Lower Colorado regional director at the Bureau of Reclamation, Jacklynn Gould, said in a statement that “about 10:00 a.m. PDT, the A5 transformer at the Hoover Dam caught fire and was extinguished by the Reclamation/Hoover Fire Department about 10:30 a.m..” became”.
“There are no injuries to visitors or staff. There is no threat to the power grid and electricity continues to be generated by the power plant,” she added. “We are investigating the cause of the fire and will provide additional updates as they become available.”
In a video shared on TikTok, user @iris_jaded said: “We saw it explode. It was very big.”
“The bridge we’re standing on now is shaking,” she added.
Texas Democratic congressional candidate Russell Foster tweeted, “Texas and the American West are on fire. The Hoover Dam just had a blast. Heatwaves across the Northern Hemisphere this week. London is burning. The world will not get any better until we address our climate emergency. We cannot handle this, we have to solve this problem.”
That dam dams Lake Mead which, when full in non-drought years, is the largest reservoir in the United States. Lake Mead supplies water to Arizona, California, and Nevada, as well as part of Mexico. The climate crisis has caused the lake to dramatically lose water during the multi-year drought, prompting cuts in states that depend on its supplies.
The most recent report from the US Bureau of Reclamation states that Lake Mead was just over 1,040 feet above sea level in July. It has dropped nearly 10 feet in the past two months and is currently at just 27 percent of its maximum capacity.
Similar to where Lake Mead provides water, the dam’s generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona and California.
Each year, the dam generates 4.5 billion kilowatt hours of hydroelectric power for use across the three states, enough to power around 8 million people in the region. The Bureau of Reclamation says during peak power periods, enough water flows through the generators to fill 15 average-sized swimming pools — 20,000 gallons each — in one second.
At full capacity, the hydroelectric power station’s generators can supply the entire electricity needs of a city of 750,000 people.
The Hoover Dam was built in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River on the Arizona-Nevada border.
It was built and operated by the Home Office’s Bureau of Reclamation. Construction began in 1931, and the dam and power station were completed in 1936.
The dam measures 726.4 feet above bedrock, the size of a 60-story building. The base of the dam is 660 feet thick, the size of two football fields.
The dam’s primary purpose is to control the Colorado River during periods of flooding to prevent damage to the region below.