The AP and the Elko Daily Free Press report that an earthen dam near Montello in Elko County has failed. The incident occurred on February 8th.
A state of emergency was soon declared by county commissioners. Sheriff deputies were assigned to search for possible victims.
Authorities say extensive damage was caused to many ranches and farms. The town of Montello itself was flooded. 10 miles of State Route 233 were closed. The Union Pacific Railroad line was also impacted.
Nevada’s Water Resources Division engineer Jason King told the AP that the Twentyone Mile Dam passed an inspection last summer. The structure formerly held water for rural irrigation in Elko County.
Wikipedia states that Montello served as a community center for ranching operations in the 1920’s. Its population was 84 in the 2010 census.
2014 Montello photograph courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.