Following Snowpack, Northern Nevada Prepares for Worst Flood Since 1997

Areas in Northern Nevada are bracing themselves as weather experts predict “the worst flood in Northern Nevada since 1997,” according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Following extreme avalanche warnings in the Sierra Nevadas that caused an elevation recorded 48 inches of snow in the Mammoth Lakes, a set of heavy rain is said to be arriving in the area. These elements combined caused meteorologists, hydrologists, and local officials to be “highly confident a coming storm system will dump enough moisture on the region to cause flooding in the Truckee Meadows.”

The RGJ also reports that “snowpack data is critical to project the moisture trapped in the snow could add significantly to what’s already expected to be several inches of rain at higher elevations.” And at the moment the SNOTEL (Snow Telemetry) sensors show the amount of water in the area is about 132 percent over the norm for this time of year.

The slightly good news with this anticipated flood compared to ones of the past is the amount of preparation time the areas have endured. The flood predicted for Sunday has had locals filling and stacking sandbags in the areas that could be more susceptible as well as preparing evacuation areas.

Evacuation Areas for Locals and Pets

Governor Brian Sandoval recently toured regions along the Truckee River after stating multiple agencies, including Washoe, Douglas and Lyon counties as well as the governor’s office, declared a state of emergency for the area.

“This isn’t an if, this is going to happen,” he said. “We do have the benefit of knowing that it’s going to happen and being able to prepare for this.”

Gov. Sandoval, who lives in Carson City at the Governor’s Mansion plans to stay in Reno (30 miles north of Carson) during the course of the flood.

Officials warn everyone to stay away from the river as much as possible.

Washoe County set up an emergency line for flood questions at 211. Sparks set up a similar line at 775-353-5555. The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony also set up an emergency operations center that will be staffed beginning 8 a.m. Sunday. The number for the center is 775-785-1341.

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Don Korta
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