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Dam Leak Prompts Flash Flood Warning In Tuolumne County

TUOLUMNE COUNTY (CBS13) – A flash flood warning was issued for parts of Tuolumne County due to a crack in the Twain Harte Dam.

Water was reportedly seen leaking through cracks at the dam by an operator late Sunday morning.

The flash flood warning was issued for areas along Sullivan Creek, southwest of the town of Twain Harte. The warning was canceled after officials determined there was not an eminent threat of failure of the dam.

Steve Wasson and his family were enjoying the start of their vacation on a large rock next to the dam when they felt a violent shake.

"A fissure started moving from the back of the rock forward and we all started scrambling and screaming to get off the rock," Wasson said.

Engineers from Sacramento have been called to the dam. The lake was full at about 143 acre-feet when the crack was first reported.

The water level in the lake is now being reduced by 10 feet to lower the lake below the leak, according to Tuolumne County officials. This means that about 2,000 gallons of water per minute is being let out from the lake.

"We have put a reverse 911, letting citizens know below this mark down the river to be aware of the increased water flow," said Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele.

The discharge is expected to be completed in about two days.

Authorities have closed Twain Harte Lake for the time being. No flooding is now expected, but authorities ask residents to avoid Twain Harte Creek and Sullivan Creek as stream levels will be above normal summer flows due to the discharge.


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