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Montello Flooded From Dam Breach And Two Rescues From An Highway Trooper and Fire Department

Posted on 15 February 2017 by Howard Copelan


By Wednesday, Twentyone Mile Dam near Montello, broke and caused flooding to the Union Pacific Railroad line near Lucin, Nevada and flooded the town of Montello.(photo credit Union Pacific Railroad)

Highway Trooper Rescues Two

Tuesday February 7th, around  6 p.m. in the evening, a couple in a car heading toward Wells , traveling north on US 93, encountered a portion of the road flooded, and started to hydroplane. Battle Mountain Highway Trooper Jim Stewart said they went off the right shoulder and into a washed out area. The water was starting to go in from the hood into the vehicle where the two passengers were.  Highway Patrol Trooper Sergeant Jeff Howell arrived on scene and came to the rescue of the two passengers by making them go to the back of the vehicle and then getting them out of the car from the back doors. Then he took them to Wells to dry out and make arrangements to be picked up.

Thanks to the trooper, Medical personnel were called to check on the well-being of the accident victims, who were found to have no injuries.       

Three Volunteer Firemen from Ryndon Fire Department Rescue Another Couple

  In another incident, Elko County Sheriff Jim Pitt told us that another vehicle near Ryndon and Osino (outside of Elko), with a couple from Elko, also trying to move through moving waters had to be rescued. We talk to John Pitt (nephew of the Sheriff) at the Elko County Fire Protection Dist. He said that three Volunteer Firemen from Ryndon Fire Department were able to help the couple with their 4 wheel Drive heavy brush truck (that they use on wild land off terrain).

Twentyone Mile Dam near Montello Flood The Town

By Wednesday, Twentyone Mile Dam near Montello, broke and caused flooding to the Union Pacific Railroad line near Lucin, Nevada and flooded the town of Montello.

Nevada’s state water engineer says an earthen dam that burst near the Utah line passed an inspection last summer.

Jason King, state engineer for Nevada’s Water Resources Division, said Thursday the dam used to hold water for rural irrigation in Elko County received a “fair” rating in June on a scale of “poor, fair and satisfactory.”

He said in an email that inspectors recommended some improvements, including the removal of deep-rooted vegetation and the monitoring of areas where seepage occurs.

But that there were “no issues identified as needing immediate attention.”

King said the Twentyone Mile Dam that broke near Montello on Wednesday is considered a “low hazard structure,” which means any breach is not expected to cause loss of life.

A rural county in northeast Nevada has declared a state of emergency due to heavy rains that caused an earthen dam to burst, washed out a state highway and triggered flash flooding near the Utah line.

Elko County Sheriff Jim Pitts says county commissioners approved the state of emergency Thursday as his deputies searched for anyone who might be stranded.

No injuries have been reported. Authorities say there appears to be extensive damage to several ranches and farms. Most of the region remains under a flood warning.

Pitts says about 30 residences have been impacted by the floodwaters in Montello since the Twentyone Mile Dam broke Wednesday afternoon. A 10-mile stretch of State Route 233 remains closed.

Pitts says the emergency declaration will make the county eligible for state assistance.

Authorities say a state road remains closed and impassible after an earthen dam failed in a rural area of northeastern Nevada, releasing fast-moving water that covered low-lying roads and forced the rerouting of trains.

The National Weather Service said Thursday that flash-flood warnings have expired, but flood warnings remain in effect near Montello. Meteorologist Brian Boyd says most of the water that’s built up behind the dam after heavy snow and runoff has now been released.

The Nevada Department of Transportation says State Route 233 remains closed to the Utah border.

A spokesman for Union Pacific Railroad says the waters forced delays or rerouting for more than a dozen freight and passenger trains.

Justin E. Jacobs says crews are assessing washed out and damaged areas. It’s unknown when service will be restored.


Near Reno last Sunday and now in Elko, Wells and surroundings Flood Warning everywhere as the snow and ice melt due to sudden rise in temperature.


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