Flooding Causes Headaches In Elko County


Courtesy: Elko County Sheriff's office

Bad weather caused flooding and a variety of headaches for Elko County last week.

The earthen Twentyone Mile Dam near the town of Montello failed because of the heavy rains, and parts of Nevada State Route 233 were closed.

The rains are even being blamed for the hospitalization of Elko Assemblyman John Ellison (R-Dist. 33), who was treated for carbon monoxide poisoning after he used generators to power his house during the storms.

Elko County Sheriff Jim Pitts talked to KNPR's State of Nevada about how things are a week after the flooding began.

"We had no injuries reported, so we were lucky that way," Pitts said.

But State Route 233 was washed out in four places and railroad tracks near Montello were also damaged by the flooding. That cut the town off.

"We did airflight MREs [meals ready to eat] and water up to people during the first week," he said, but crews were able to reopen at least one road into the town.  

Besides the torrential rain, Pitts blamed the flooding on early runoff from melting snow. The Humboldt River, which runs through Elko County, was running extremely high. Pitts said the river peaked at 13 feet. 

"It shutdown probably eight, nine square blocks of houses that had to be evacuated," Pitts said. "We haven't seen stuff like this in probably 30 years." 

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Pitts estimates it will take millions of dollars to repair all the roads damaged by the flooding. 


Jim Pitts, Elko County Sheriff

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