On Jan. 6, a State of Emergency was declared in preparation of flooding. Although flooding subsided, high winds and snow created an additional risk of falling trees. On Jan. 8, Washoe County officials held an Emergency Operations Center Briefing warning people of the intense rain, excess runoff, and full force gales.
“We are seeing a significant rise in the river, elevation and flow,” said Sparks Police Officer Ken Gallop.
Small steam flooding was reported around Washoe County in Vista, Galena Creek, the North Truckee Drain area, and more. The Reno Fire Department and Washoe County Health Department advised people to stay away from the river and to not drive or walk through standing water as open manholes could be pushing out sewage contaminants.
Meanwhile, up in the Sierras, Lake Tahoe folks found themselves in a days-long blizzard which dropped over 10 feet of snow. Most residences around the lake didn’t have electricity ranging anywhere from a couple of hours up to five days. All major highways and roads were closed due to avalanches and mudslides, snowplows were working overtime, and people were generally advised to stay inside due to imminent danger.
Surprisingly, everything turned out to be okay in the Sparks region, considering the potential damages that the storm could’ve caused. Although REMSA performed several rescues, there were no reports of flood-related injuries in the area. The Sparks industrial area closed on Jan. 8 due to 1-2 feet of standing water, but businesses seemed pretty well prepared.
“We weren’t affected at all; everyone did a pretty good job of protecting themselves,” said a representative from Stanley Steemer, located on 740 Freeport Boulevard.
“We prepared for it and are fortunately in a high spot so there was no damage. We did drive through 1-2 feet of water to get to there, but no water got inside,” said Max Smith of Moment Skis, a snow ski factory located on 1060 Marietta Way.
“Reasonableness has really prevailed in this flood, this was a perfect example of preparedness and good communication,” says Sparks Police Officer Ken Gallop.
However, the Northern Nevada region should still stay on-guard as another storm system may be coming through in the next day or so. According to the National Weather Service, residents should expect to see a return of active weather pushing through the region coming in via increasing winds on Wednesday afternoon/evening.
This next storm is expected to be drier with a foot of snow possible in higher elevations and snow levels dropping to the valley floors by Thursday. Although no flood warnings are forecasted, the NWS advises those with travel plans to closely monitor the weather in the upcoming week.