Emergency personnel demolish logjam on East Fork

Logs and debris are lifted away from a logjam at the Virginia-Rocky Slough diversion on the East Fork of the Carson River by Connelly Crane.

Logs and debris are lifted away from a logjam at the Virginia-Rocky Slough diversion on the East Fork of the Carson River by Connelly Crane.
Tod Carlini/East Fork Fire Protection District

A logjam at the Virginia-Rocky Slough diversion dam was blasted clear on Friday evening, clearing a blockage that threatened to send flood waters toward Carson Valley Health and the assisted living centers along Muller Parkway.

One 40-foot tree that was removed weighed more than 6 tons, according to Douglas County Emergency Manager Tod Carlini.

Coordinating with the Virginia Allerman Ditch Co. and Carson Valley Golf Course, members of the Tahoe-Douglas Bomb Squad set charges to help break up the jam.

An earlier story indicated that the dam was the subject of the demolition.

Personnel and equipment were used to mechanically remove massive amounts of debris that had collected with the rise in the river, according to East Fork Fire Protection District. As the trees were removed, East Fork’s Fuels and Fire personnel used chain saws to cut the trees into smaller pieces.

“The Virginia-Rocky diversion is a key diversion point on the East Fork of the Carson River,” East Fork Chief Tod Carlini said on Monday. “Earlier in the week, one of the main water control gates at the site failed, requiring the ditch company to lower in a large trench plate over the diversion to control the flow.”

Douglas County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue used a boat to deliver bomb squad personnel to the debris pile and allowed that boat to serve as a platform to set the explosive charges, according to East Fork

The squad calculated the impact of the blast to define the areas which would be affected.

A reverse 911 was issued and Douglas deputies went door to door to in the immediate area. There were no collateral damages after the blast.

“A very strong effort was put forth by all parties and especially the personnel from Connelly Crane and Mountain West Construction,” Carlini said. “They came into the effort with a can-do attitude from the very beginning”

The Washoe County HASTY team assisted search and rescue with rescue swimmers and additional personnel.

“The effort at the Virginia-Rocky Diversion was a successful mitigation measure and effort,” Carlini said.

Downstream from the blast, the Cottonwood Diversion structure was monitored to ensure that debris didn’t damage it as well.

The Nevada Department of Transportation and the State Division of Emergency Management were advised to monitor the Lutheran Bridge and the Highway 88 Bridge for potential debris accumulations.

“While some debris remains, the work performed last week opened up a significant part of the river channel and so far has prevented the river from backing up at that location,” Carlini said.

Carlini also thanked Carson Valley Golf Course owner Tom Brooks for his cooperation with the effort and the Virginia-Allerman Ditch Co. Board Members and Manager Gary Aiazza, along with Mountain West Construction.

He emphasized the important contributions made by the agricultural interests in the valley and towards flood mitigation.


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