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Martis Dam risks still being studied

Remote control gates priority for flood control
Source: Greyson Howard, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza
February 17, 2008

Field work has temporarily halted on the Martis Dam until the snow melts, but the Army Corps of Engineers is still working to assess the risk the dam poses.

Located three miles east of Truckee in the Martis Valley, the 36-year-old earthen-fill dam has been categorized as an "extremely high risk" by the Corps for seepage issues.

Geologists blame the coarse glacial soil for the seepage that could destabilize the dam, making it one of the six riskiest dams in the nation.

The dam's ranking comes not only from the probability of failure, but also the consequences downstream, which in this case is the flooding of the Truckee River Canyon and a large part of Reno, said Ronn Rose with the Dam Safety Assurance Program last fall.

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