In Maine: A Crank for All Seasons

One afternoon last April, in the central Maine town of Dover-Foxcroft (pop. 4,000), Charles MacArthur was standing beside the canal lock that feeds water from the Piscataquis River into the hydroelectric plant of Brown's Mill. He heard a strangely squishy, popping sound. "It was sort of like a baseball bat hitting a rotten stump," he recalls. The bulkhead below the 600-kw generator bulged from hydrostatic pressure and quietly let go. MacArthur (who owns the mill) turned, horrified, to see 100 tons of concrete, studded with steel reinforcing rods, tossed lightly into the springtime air as thousands of gallons of water...

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