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Dam Could Fail, Washoe County Emergency Officials Say


UPDATED 7:13 a.m.

The Washoe Lake Dam in Nevada is still being monitored, but officials say the imminent threat of a failure has been downgraded to a "watch" situation. 

Original story:

The emergency manager's office for Washoe County in Nevada says an earthen dam at the north end of Washoe Lake could fail.

The Nevada Department of Water Resources identified problems with the dam during a routine inspection, according to Aaron Kenneston, the emergency manager’s officer for Washoe County.

Kenneston did not elaborate on what the problems are, but says people in the Steamboat Creek area should prepare to evacuate.

"Should it fail in normal water years, it wouldn't matter,” he said. “But because it's been a high water year, there's potential for as much as 15 feet of water to drain along this creek,”

Kenneston says the county is attempting to identify the number of people who live in the area.

“Public safety officials are on the way to inspect the dam. First-responders are at the ready to begin evacuations,” Kenneston said.

The dam is located adjacent to U.S. 395 in Washoe Valley.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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