Adam Trumble
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August 11, 2014
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Storm causes more flooding; Douglas Co. seeks state help

Monday’s storm caused more flooding in the region causing Douglas County to reach out to the state for assistance.

In requesting a State of Emergency Monday night, Douglas County officials said, “the cumulative series of floods has now exceeded the county’s resources.” The declaration would allow Douglas additional help with repairing roads, culverts and drainage. It would allow Douglas to call in additional crews to help clear roads, debris and repair infrastructure damaged by repeated flash floods. The county also would be eligible to apply for financial assistance from the state disaster relief account.

The declaration must be approved at the state level by Gov. Sandoval.

Monday’s storm caused concentrated flooding in the Stephanie Lane area, according to Douglas County officials. The scene was similar in Carson City as a quick-moving thunderstorm dumped 1.5 inches of rain in about 20 minutes, according to Zach Tolby, a meteorologist with National Weather Service in Reno.

Bonnie Vivant said she still was in shock from the storm Monday night.

The Carson River Road resident was working on her family’s land when the storm blew in. She sought shelter under a bush as the rain and 60-plus mph winds with pebble-sized hail pelted her.

“It came out of nowhere. It came so fast,” Vivant said.

After the heavy rains had subsided about 20 minutes later, her driveway was covered in 3- to 4-feet of mud and Carson River Road was impassible.

She said the culvert by her house was overloaded by all the water rushing down Prison Hill. She said it started running “like the Colorado River.”

The amount of water the storm dropped overwhelmed drainage systems causing flooding and debris on the roadways. Carson City Public Works crews were busy working on: Edmonds Drive, Conte Drive, Carson River Road, Buzzys Ranch Road, Fermi Road and Goni Road, according to Rob Fellows, storm water manager.

“It was a lot of water,” Fellows said, adding the systems are set up to handle certain events, but this “way exceeded its capacity.”

He said the region’s July 20 storm, which dropped 1-inch of water in 20 minutes, was a 100-year event, speculating that this was possibly another 100-year event.

“The amount of water, debris — rocks, sediments, hail, which brings down leaves — all that debris can plug inlets very quickly,” Fellows said.

For Vivant and her husband Jerry, the result was the pileup of mud on the driveway, the loss of landscaping and the loss of two 60-foot trees.

She said the storm knocked one 60-foot tree in the backyard into another tree, uprooting it, but not knocking it over. She said she was having the trees taken down for fear of another storm knocking them down and possibly into the house.

“I have never heard or seen anything like that,” she said. “It sounded like someone dropped a bomb.”

She said Joe Benigno’s Tree Service had eight men there taking the trees down.

“They just did a beautiful job,” she said as the tree came down shortly before 7 p.m.

Tolby said the unusual blast of moisture is “a little out of the ordinary.”

“A lot more monsoon moisture,” he said. He said the region usually gets hit with a burst, but it has hit multiple times.

He said nothing out of the ordinary is causing the bursts, attributing them to “large scale patterns.” He said this system should be out of the region by today. “It should start to clear and be back to more normal conditions.”


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The Nevada Appeal Updated Aug 11, 2014 11:31PM Published Aug 13, 2014 12:01AM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.