Officials Monitoring Dam For Possible Breach At U.S.-Mexico Border

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 2:18pm
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 10:32am

Officials remain unsure whether a threat remains at Menager’s Dam, a community on the Tohono O’odham Indian reservation that was warned of potentially catastrophic conditions Tuesday night.

Specifically, the small town of Ali Chuk, population 165, on the southwestern region of the reservation was threatened by a breach in the dam.

Rob Howlett is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tucson.

"It is an old dam built in the early 1900s and it’s just an earthen dam and with the water at 22 feet, if it reaches 23 feet, it will crest that. so we’re concerned with the dam failing if it continues to rise above that," Howlett said.

He said the National Weather Service has not been updated with conditions at the dam. The O’odham government has not responded to repeated requests for information.

Tuesday night, the council warned Ali Chuk residents to evacuate. Ali Chuk resident Tomasa Ortiz spoke with KJZZ’s The Show on Wednesday morning.

"i just hope that you know, it doesn’t get worse so everybody is able to go back to their homes," Ortiz said.

The forecast calls for clearing skies for the next few days with more showers possible over the weekend.

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