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Flood fears rise south of Reno after dam damage discovered

RENO — State and local officials are advising residents in an area south of Reno to be prepared to evacuate ahead of flooding if an earthen dam at Washoe Lake fails.

Washoe County Emergency Management posted a warning Monday of the potential for a dam failure that would send floodwater into Steamboat Creek and Steamboat Ditch.

The area is mostly open desert between U.S. 395 and Interstate 580 south of homes in Pleasant Valley.

The Nevada Division of Water Resources says a routine inspection on Monday found seepage in the earthen dam.

State Engineer Jason King tells the Reno Gazette Journal the damage could undermine the dam and allow a floodwater release.

Samantha Thompson, a spokeswoman for King’s office, says officials are assessing the number of homes and businesses downstream.

County officials were planning to set up sandbag locations.

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