Dam Failure & Inundation
Yountville is subject to flooding resulting from a potential failure of Rector Creek Dam. The earthen embarkment dam, built in 1946, stores about 4,600 acre-fee of water and the crest height is 164 feet. Earthquakes centered close to a dam are typically the most likely cause for failure.
In the unlikely event of the failure of Rector Dam, EVERYONE will be directed to evacuate. Depending on the amount of advance warning, the initial evacuation route would most likely be south on CA 29 into Napa. HOWEVER, if the dam has failed and water is flowing out, the evacuation route will be northbound on CA 29 into St. Helena as water will flood CA 29 south of Yountville. In the event of a Rector Dam failure, you would not want to use Yountville Cross Road to the Silverado Trail as doing so will put you into the direction of the water flow from Rector Creek into the Napa River.
Rector Creek Dam is owned and maintained by the California Department of Veteran Affairs. According to the Department of Water Resources, as of this writing date, the dam is certified and may safely impound water. It is also in satisfactory condition with no existing or potential dam safety deficiencies.
The information on this website is provided under the California Emergency Services Act (California Government Code section 8550 et seq.) and for informational purposes only. The information on this website: (1) is necessarily general and not intended to be a complete guide to all things that can or should be done in the event of an emergency, (2) is subject to change at any time including in the event of an emergency, and (3) may not apply to your specific needs and/or circumstances in the event of an emergency. Emergency preparedness is your responsibility. Relevant information regarding a particular emergency may be different than the information provided on this website. All persons should consult relevant authorities for information regarding a particular emergency. There are many sources of information for emergency preparedness and all persons should consult as many resources as possible.