ELKO COUNTY, Nevada, Feb 8. 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Soaking rains combined with heavy run-off from melting snowpacks led to a dam breach in northeastern Nevada Wednesday, flooding roads and low-lying areas in what the National Weather Service called “a life-threatening situation.”
A large swath of the 21-Mile-Dam located in Elko County, 35 miles northeast of Wells, Nev., gave way late Wednesday afternoon, sending a wall of water rushing downstream, washing out roads and flooding range lands before swamping the area known as Gamble Ranch and the nearby town of Montello.
The widespread flooding closed traffic on State Route 223. It also brought a halt to train traffic on the rail lines used by Union Pacific.
Elko County Sheriff Jim Pitts told the media flooding in the area was the worst he has seen in more than three decades.
The National Weather Service in Elko predicted more rain overnight and into Thursday morning.
The NWS forecast came with a warning to motorists, saying that in the event of continued flash flooding, “Do not drive through flooded roadways and seek higher ground immediately. Due to uncertainty in how the flood wave will progress, it is strongly recommended to stay away from the area.”