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Earthen Dam Springs Leak [AUDIO]

Pond Mechanics circa 1825, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Pond Mechanics circa 1825, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

An earthen dam holding back millions of gallons of water in south-central Wyoming is leaking and in danger of failing. The Little Robber Detention Dam, located 13 miles north of Baggs, is weakened yet stable, according to Bureau of Land Management High Desert Office Spokeswoman Serena Baker.

Ms. Baker said there were BLM engineers on the site Wednesday evaluating the situation.

On site evaluation:

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“Our goal is to begin some of the temporary repairs this week. The structure is still weakened. The joint in the corrugated metal pipe of the principal spillway has broken off and that is eroding the base.”

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for southwest Carbon County including the Baggs and Dixon areas until Saturday morning.

Weather Service Flash Flood Watch:

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“We have actually coordinated with the National Weather Service requesting that just as a safeguard measure. Hopefully we won’t get heavy rains or much warmer temperatures. The warmer temperatures have actually caused the spring runoff to increase, which has kind of exacerbated the problem.”

When asked if lives were at risk if the dam should fail, Ms. Baker said there aren’t any structures downstream of the damn. She said there were some oil and gas wells in the area. The other danger is Wyoming Highway 789, known as the Baggs Highway, could get flooded if the dam fails.

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