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County Says Cedar Valley Dam Not In Danger Of Failure

CEDAR VALLEY — With all the concern generated by media reports yesterday that the earthen dam in Cedar Valley was in imminent danger of failure, we followed up with Madera County Public Works to find out what is really going on.

Ahmad Alkhayyat is the Director of Public Works for Madera County.

We asked Alkhayyat about media reports that the earthen dam at Lakeside Drive in Cedar Valley was in “imminent danger of failing,” and he says the integrity of the structure is sound.

“Our crews in the field are monitoring the dam very carefully,” reports the Director, “and at this time, the dam is not in danger of failing.”

The earthen dam and Lakeside Drive are one in the same, located adjacent to the Cedar Valley Fire Station.

On one side of the dam is a pond used by Cal Fire for fire control, and on the other side is a spillway that feeds into Lewis Creek.

The dam is not a Madera County facility, though the road that serves as the top of the dam is a Madera County road. According to Alkhayyat, the County does some maintenance at the location because they have the equipment and the crews to do so.

Yesterday afternoon, as the pond overflowed onto the road and into the spillway, the County provided a road crew to pump water from the pond down the spillway in order to quell any potential for erosion that could threaten the dam.

The operation was successful and, while more rain is anticipated, a failure of the structure is not.

“The spillway structure is functioning properly, just as expected,” Akkhayyat says, adding that the County and Cal Fire work together in order to ensure the safety of residents downstream from the dam in Cedar Valley.

Video Feb. 8, 2017. (Kellie Flanagan)


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