Tiger Dam installed in Lemmon Valley

Published: Apr. 3, 2019 at 6:06 PM PDT
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Just after noon on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, crews began another phase of installing the Tiger Dam along the west side of Swan Lake.

The water-filled rubber tubes are sitting on private property that has avoided flood waters from the lake for the past two years.

“Exactly,” says Dianna Ryan who owns the land. “The back corner back there that you can see is the only corner that has ever had water. And it was only like 10 square feet. And you can see how much it has spread,” says Ryan.

Placing the dam on Ryan's property is perhaps the easiest part of this project.

Now crews must wade in the lake's water, fill the long tubes, and run them along a fence line.

Ryan says the backyard on the other side of this fence already has sandbags.

But, they have been no help this year.

The higher water levels could go even higher as spring runoff is just around the corner.

The county engineer says no problem; that the Tiger Dams can adapt.

“If the lake levels did for some reason climb even further we can add more,” says Dwayne Smith, Washoe County Engineer. “It is kind of a pyramid shape. But we could add more on top,” he says.

The dam will eventually make its way to Pompe Way which has sustained the most damage in this ongoing two year ordeal.

Residents who were offered the Tiger Dam protection were also asked to sign a form by the county allowing workers on private property.

Some residents say, at the advice of their attorneys, they did not sign the form. They say they were told it was not in their best interest.

As a result, their homes could be further impacted either by the dam, as it avoids their homes or the water that continues to gobble up the land.

Crews hope to have the Tiger Dam completed by Friday, April 5.