Cave Lake to be drained to allow safe repair of 89-year-old dam near Ely

Local News

FILE – This Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, file photo, provided by the Nevada Division of State Parks, shows a boat dock at Cave Lake, a reservoir that was created by the construction of the Cave Creek Dam in 1932, at Cave Lake State Park about 15 miles southeast of Ely, Nev. State officials have completed the first phase of a rehabilitation project at the nearly 90-year-old dam in eastern Nevada where they had found “unstable and potentially dangerous” conditions. The Nevada Department of Wildlife closed the reservoir temporarily at Cave Lake State Park in October 2019 to drain down the water level and better assess safety concerns at its 83-foot-tall (25-meter-tall) dam. (Steve Gray/Nevada Division of State Parks via AP, File)

RENO, Nev. — State officials have decided to close and fully drain a reservoir in eastern Nevada to expedite repairs and eliminate potentially dangerous conditions at the 89-year-old Cave Creek Dam sooner than originally was planned over several seasons.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife said Wednesday Cave Lake will be closed to visitors when the draining begins in late October or early November.

Engineers originally planned to maintain a minimum pool that would allow repairs to be done without draining the lake near the Utah line.

Officials say the new approach will reduce dangers for contractors working in high-risk elements and allow the project to be completed potentially in one season.

Problems were first reported in early 2020 as questions arose over whether the 83-food-tall dam could handle a big storm.

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