30 Mar Elko Nevada Dam Break – Flooding and More
Impact Discusses The Elko Nevada Dam Break
A broken dam in Nevada’s Elko County has flooded farmland and homes in the community of Montello. The water spilling from the 21 Mile Dam has also stopped the nearby Union Pacific trains from running, prompting officials to warn those in the extreme northwest portion of Utah to avoid the rural highway into Nevada. The Elko Nevada Dam Break is not an uncommon break.
Following the break in the dam, the National Weather Service warned that water in the reservoir was continuing to rise at a rapid pace as it headed downstream. As such, ongoing flash flooding was likely to continue and to possibly become worse. As the water flowed into the Dake Reservoir, there was also a risk of the dam overflowing and resulting in more flooding. As such, trains headed toward the area affected by the flood were stopped and delayed for an indeterminate amount of time. Until the water stops flowing, Union Pacific will be unable to inspect the tracks to determine just how much damage has been done by the flooding.
Meanwhile, in the streets of Montello, emergency crews worked tirelessly to set up sandbags around homes and businesses. According to the East Elko Fire Protection District, the flooding and breach of the dam were likely caused by heavy runoff and snowmelt. While the problem started off with just a few inches of water that needed to be handled, the failure of the dam caused the water to rise to a depth of more than a few feet. While nearby Utah is also expected to experience a quick warm up after receiving heavy snows, state water officials are confident that a similar breach is not likely to occur there.