Carson avoids worst effects of flood
January 9, 2017
Carson City was one of the few areas lucky enough to avoid any major problems following the weekend flooding.
City crews spent the weekend filling sandbags, assessing property damage and clearing debris from the roadways and drains to help keep water flowing and away from homes and businesses.
Mayor Bob Crowell said two homes in Carson City had flooded. He said crews were out doing damage assessment and storm mitigation work and all sandbag locations remained open.
The next storm is expected to turn into heavy snow and Crowell and Emergency Manager and Fire Chief Schreihans warned of continuing dangers.
“The river still has high flows so please stay away from that,” said Schriehans. “We will have some high winds this evening and tomorrow so be cautious of high wind areas and stay away from high trees. If you see some leaning or looking like they’ll fall please call the non-emergency hotline.”
Ronni Hannaman, executive director, Carson City Chamber of Commerce, had not heard of problems at any member businesses as of Monday morning.
Downtown businesses, too, had few problems.
Mom & Pop’s had no flooding or damage, said owner Doug Cramer.
David Shriver, owner of Kaleidoscope, an antique and vintage decor store recently opened on Carson Street, and the building that houses it and the Coldwell Banker office, said his businesses had no problem either and had spent the weekend sandbagging.
“Making 2nd Street a staging area was a great decision because this is where the problems have been,” said Shriver, referring to the sandbagging location put at 2nd and Curry streets by Carson City Public Works. “Kudos to the road crew on Curry.”
Schreihans said their main concern through the flooding was to the safety of their crews and the lives of Carson residents. However, crews worked through Monday trying to get the roadways clear and safe for residents.
“We had some trouble spots, like Curry Street,” Schreihans said. ”There was some flooding outside of the river but it is in an area that doesn’t matter for property or life. Our preplanning has paid off to keep residents safe.”
Flooding did impact several areas around Carson, including Morgan Mill Road, Curry Street and Fermi Road, which were all closed through Monday.
The Red Cross and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Saliman Road had opened a shelter Saturday afternoon for evacuees, but closed on noon Monday after flood weather suspended. The Salvation Army served meals.
The first night two people were housed there and Sunday night four people used the shelter, according to Karenne Smith with the Red Cross in Reno.
Two pets were picked up there by the Nevada Humane Society and placed in the animal shelter on Airport Road until their owners could retrieve them.
The animal shelter also received calls from residents on Nevada Street who had been warned they might have to evacuate, but no animals were brought to the shelter.
Gov. Brian Sandoval toured northern Nevada Monday and stopped in Carson City late in the day at the corner of Curry and Rhodes streets, where he met with Mayor Bob Crowell, Schreihans and Nick Marano, Carson City manager.
“First and foremost, I want to thank our emergency responders, who were able to prevent what could have been a lot worse situation,” said Sandoval. “I think we were the best prepared we’ve ever been.”
Crowell said Carson City personnel and state workers worked together throughout the event.
“It was not just amazing but heartening to see,” Crowell said.
David Ruf, owner, Greenhouse Garden Center at the site, spent the day using a backhoe to clear debris carried down by water streaming from the hills behind the nursery.
“The city did a great job of sandbagging to keep the flow away from my business,” Ruf said.
Ruf was working to reestablish the driveway there after the water cut a four-foot trench in order to provide access to his business and four other businesses back there.
The nearby Nevada State Railroad Museum suffered some damage to its railroad track, said Peter Barton, administrator, Nevada Division of Museums & History.
“There is some erosion by the railroad museum, no damage to important assets, but some track damage,” Barton said.
Barton said he expected the track to be repaired well before the museum train started running again Memorial Day weekend.
As for city property, the worst damage may be to trails due to erosion, said Marano.
The roof at the Carson Aquatic Facility also leaked, over the office and locker room, as expected. The roof is scheduled to be fixed.
Marano said next is damage assessment and clean up. Already, Public Works crews have been working round-the-clock for five days preparing for and handling the storm, he said.
Marano said he knew of no power outages in Carson City, but cautioned the next storm bringing heavy snow could down trees and power lines.
The Carson City Sheriff’s Office also didn’t see much action over the weekend, with deputies helping Public Works when needed to assess flood areas. Sheriff Ken Furlong said the public was good at keeping safe while their resources were strained.
“The drivers were good on the roads, we only had one accident, we appreciate that people kept off the streets,” Furlong said. “I can’t come up with any risky business that I saw or heard of happening during the flooding. From a law enforcement perspective it was quiet.”
Furlong said they were lucky there were no significant incidents of flooding, which helped all public safety officers.
“The number of flooding type incidents were sporadic throughout town, none consumed our resources so that we couldn’t meet the ability to meet other demands,” Furlong said. “This community reacted and got through the storm very well. Upfront we asked residents to take care of themselves and make sure they had the resources they needed and it appears as though many took that advice.”
Furlong said while law enforcement wasn’t too busy, resources like Public Works was tapped out, but able to maintain the demand during flood conditions.
“The real heroes in this event was Public Works, who stood out there in the rain, was sandbagging and digging around town for the last 24 hours.”
Schreihans said overall the flood response was successful.
“Overall, it was a great success, some folks had flood damage who probably wouldn’t agree, but there are just some areas that no matter what we do there will be problems,” Schreihans said. “There was limited damage because of our preplanning and the work folks did before the incident really made a difference to stop the water.”
Carson City residents shouldn’t have to worry about any more flood weather, according to the National Weather Service Reno. The next system moving into the area, which started Monday morning is expected to bring colder weather and snow.
“The good news is that this system is significantly colder so no major flood concerns (for Carson),” said meteorologist Scott McGuire. “…Whatever impacts the weather would have had (on flooding) happened yesterday and last night.”
There’s still a flood warning around the Carson River as it crests; however, crest numbers are lower than the numbers of the 2005 flood.
The next storm system is expected to bring snow and high winds to the area, especially in the Sierras and Lake Tahoe region. McGuire said Carson should see snow Monday into Tuesday morning then rain/snow continuing through Tuesday. High winds will also pick up Tuesday morning and could see 65 to 80 mile per hour winds around the region, especially in wind prone areas such as Washoe Valley.
A winter storm warning is in effect in the Sierras until 4 a.m. Thursday, with the lake Take area expected to see two to five feet of snow and above 7,000 feet to see four to eight feet of snow by then.
“It will be white out to blizzard conditions up there so it is best to avoid travel in that area,” McGuire said.
Furlong said that while the weather conditions look promising, residents shouldn’t fall into a false sense of security and should still be prepared for flooding in case the weather does change.
The Carson City Emergency Operations Center closed at 5 p.m. Monday, though the Fire Department kept extra manning on staff for the night just in case situations arose. There will also be an assessment team going around Carson City Tuesday to assess damage done to landscape and other areas around residents’ homes.
“There are still a couple of days of weather we are concerned about so we will keep operations open with sandbag stations and such around town,” Schriehans said.
Residents can recycle sandbags at the City Corporate Yard at3505 Butti Way. City offices will also reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Lyon County is still actively engaged in flood operations as road crews continue to focus efforts on clearing drains and repairing roads that aren’t under water. Officials estimate it will still be several days before roads are fully operational.
Roads are being repaired as quickly as possible. Road crews are also preparing for snow removal that is being forecasted to begin tonight. County Manager Jeff Page and the Board of County Commissioners commend the affected public for their patience and working with our responders.
Two people were evacuated and 25 structures have been confirmed with damage as of Monday afternoon.
Lyon County officials also said they have received several reports via social media asking for assistance, however are having difficulties responding to those calls as they aren’t monitoring social media sites. Anyone with a non-emergency should contact their non-emergency line at 775-463-6620.
Storey County has their Emergency Coordinating Center semi-activated as they continue post-flood damage assessments, especially in the Lockwood and Mark Twain areas. The Center will reconvene Tuesday at 8 a.m. to determine what the next step will be.
Storey County Emergency Management and Canyon General Improvement District issued a boil water order for residents in the Rainbow Bend subdivision and the Lockwood LCC due to a broken water line at the Cercle De La Cerese Bridge. Boil water warning continues to be in effect Monday night in Lockwood. Lockwood water line should be repaired and online by Tuesday at 9 a.m. Portable restrooms are available at Lockwood Fire Station. Showers available at Rainbow Bend Clubhouse for Rainbow Bend and LCC residents without water.
Storey County School District is also on a 2-hour delay for Tuesday. If roads are deemed unsafe a notice will be sent out to all families.
Contact NVFlood17@storeycounty.org and 775-847-INFO (4636) for updates or check Storey County’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.