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Officials Continue To Monitor Rivers In Washoe County For Flood Risks

@CityofReno / Twitter

A photo of the Truckee River from the Arlington Bridge on Jan. 9, 2017.

@CityofReno / Twitter


1:37 P.M. UPDATE: Northern Nevada officials are still warning residents about additional active winter weather over the next few days, even though the risk of flooding has diminished. 

They say there's still risk of falling trees because of high winds and highly saturated ground. 

City of Reno crews are assessing damage from the storm and are reopening previously closed roads. Residents are urged to report debris or clogged storm drains by dialing 211 or 775-337-5800.

10:37 A.M. UPDATE: Officials in Washoe County say they are continuing to watch water levels in local rivers and are anticipating more snow Tuesday.

In Lockwood, east of Reno, the Nevada National Guard deployed a team of high water vehicles to assist with potential evacuations in the area. 

Road closures are in effect in parts of the county. Officials say crews have reopened some. but others are being still being assessed. 

 

8 A.M. UPDATE: The Truckee River crested at 12.3 feet in the Reno area early Monday. 

Officials say flows are still fast and dangerous and urge caution around bodies of watter. 

The Truckee River crested in the Truckee area at about 6.5 feet Sunday at 8:45 p.m. It crested in Reno at 12.3 feet at 12:45 a.m. Monday. It has not yet crested at Vista and is expected to do so at 20.4 feet at 9 a.m. Monday.

 

7:29 A.M. UPDATE: Nearly five inches of rain has fallen southwest of Reno and more than four inches north of town. The worst is expected Monday morning commute along the I-80 corridor between Reno and Sparks, where the Truckee River is expected to crest about 10 feet above flood stage.

The University of Nevada, Reno and all area schools canceled classes Monday. Gov. Brian Sandoval is urging all non-essential state employees impacted by the flood to stay home.

 

6:37 A.M. UPDATE: The city of Reno warned drivers on Twitter Monday to expect a challenging commute as many of the roads in the southern region remain closed.

Road crews are working currently to remove debris from the road to keep the water flowing.

Original Post: Flooding in the eastern Sierra Nevada shut down major highways and forced hundreds to evacuate.

The rain was light, but it melted snow at higher elevations, lots of it.

The torrent of chocolate brown foamy water full of sticks raged through downtown Reno. 

Despite being told not to, hundreds came down to watch like Keri Durbin

"I don’t know, it is fascinating and scary at the same time, you don’t get to see it too often," says Durbin.

Gawking people gridlocked. A helicopter circled, police called it a mess as firemen tried to get to problems.

The spectacle was no laughing matter for some, like Zsazsara, a homeless women who lives in a tent by theTruckee River.

She was evacuated to a shelter with 150 other homeless men and women. By midnight there were no reports of fatalities or even injuries as a result of the flood. Volunteers like Shalise Ptak are convinced preparation paid off.

"Lives would be lost if we didn’t spend these last two days evacauating," says Ptak.

Outside downtown, water spread out, forcing last-minute evacuations of 400 homes. The big problem was the small swelling streams. 

"They breach flood, flows through someones house, flows across roads and that usually ends up being our biggest problem," says Reno Fire Department Division Chief Seth Williams.

Williams says, the flood is only half the problem. In the hills, avalanches, mud slides and sink holes closed roads. Winds downed power lines. Water lines have burst, leaving some without clean drinking water and an industrial area flooded, raising concerns about chemical spills.

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