Reported crack in dam, flash flood warning on Sullivan Creek

By Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat August 03, 2014 11:54 am

The National Weather Service this morning released a flash flood warning for areas immediately adjacent to Sullivan Creek downstream from Twain Harte Lake through 10:45 p.m. tonight. 

The leak in the dam was from a crack was caused by fissures in the rocks, according to Twain Harte Lake Board President, Betty Jesperson.

The dam was opened to empty the lake water at noon to relieve the pressure against the cracked rocks,  Jesperson said.

 The lake is closed to visitors and members until further notified. 

At this point, there is no danger of the dam breaking, Jesperson said.  

Tuolumne Utilities District, Cal Fire, Twain Harte Fire and Office of Emergency Services are on scene. Jesperson said about noon a geologist from Sacramento was scheduled to arrive on scene.  

 The report was issued at 10:45 a.m., and according to the weather service the Twain Harte dam operators reported cracks in the dam with a potential for dam failure. Though the town of Twain Harte is not affected, portions of Bellview are under the warning, according to the National Weather Service. Both the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office and Twain Harte Fire Department confirmed the situation, though further information on the severity of the dam's condition was not immediately available.

A flash flood warning means flash flooding is occuring or imminent. People in the areas under the warning are  told to seek higher ground.