When it rains it pours; Carson City drenched

Left to right Michelle Mauer, 14 and Caitlyn Carr, 13, try to stay dry in front of Carson Middle School Friday morning. A strong Pacific Storm is expected to bring precipitation through the weekend.

Left to right Michelle Mauer, 14 and Caitlyn Carr, 13, try to stay dry in front of Carson Middle School Friday morning. A strong Pacific Storm is expected to bring precipitation through the weekend.

Carson City was anything but dry Friday thanks to a winter storm that soaked the parched Sierra with snow, which turned into rain as it reached the valley floor.

Too much water wasn't a good thing for areas of the city, least of all East Carson where the intersections of Long Street and Lompa Lane, Lompa and Northridge lanes and Lassen Drive and Highway 50 East flooded from the fast-falling rain.

"There's nothing we can really do about it until the freeway gets through there and we get a drainage ditch," said Chuck Knowlton, street operations chief.

Rainfall that began Wednesday night and continued through Thursday into Friday morning damaged the roof of the oldest building on the Western Nevada Community College campus.

"In one corner of our Bristlecone Building a portion of the roof failed over one classroom, one computer lab and the faculty office," said Anne Hansen, college director of information and marketing services.

"Luckily our buildings and grounds people caught it early and some spent the night making sure it didn't harm the computers," she said.

"The roof on this building is the top priority we submitted to the state for capital improvement money."

Repair of the entire roof could cost upwards of $100,000. "It's just been hard because this kind of money hasn't been available and unfortunately this was the result," Hansen said.

A mudslide from the hill leading down from Highway 50 West onto Clear Creek Road caused a short closure as crews from Nevada Department of Transportation cleared a path through the mud.

A deadly accident during a sand storm involving 13 vehicles in Silver Springs on Thursday night, claimed the life of a Reno man.

Larry Duncan, 61, died during the pileup. Another injured man was taken by Care Flight helicopter to Washoe Medical Center in Reno where he was treated and released. Four others were taken by ground ambulance to Washoe Medical Center and one woman was transported to Churchhill County Hospital in Fallon. In all, 12 people suffered injuries from minor to serious and were treated and released, said Trooper Pat McGill of the Nevada Highway Patrol.

A preliminary investigation indicates the 3:07 p.m. crash occurred on U.S. 95 Alternate during high winds that blew sand and dust across the roadway resulting in zero visibility.

The first major winter storm of the season slowed traffic over the Sierra on Friday and soaked western Nevada with much-needed rain while delivering punishing winds.

Chains or snow tires were required on the California side of the mountains on U.S. 50 between Twin Bridges and Meyers and chains were mandatory on Interstate-80 between Kingvale and Donner Lake early in the day. Chains remained mandatory on California 267 north of Lake Tahoe to Truckee and California 89 was closed over Monitor Pass south of Topaz Lake.

A winter storm warning remained in effect in the Lake Tahoe Basin and along the Sierra Crest both north and south of the lake, where up to four feet of snow could fall at the higher elevations today.

A winter-storm warning also was in effect above 6,500 feet across northern Nevada from around Winnemucca through Battle Mountain and Elko to the Utah state line.

A flash-flood watch was in effect in the lower areas around Lake Tahoe, particularly the Martis Burn area from a fire two years ago on the Nevada-California line northwest of Reno and in the burn areas from last summer's fires in the Walker and Coleville areas of California, where one-half to one inch of rain had fallen.

Vicious winds accompanied the storm. Remote sensors detected a gust of 134 mph in the Sierra seven miles northwest of Tahoe City, Calif., and another of 122 mph on Virginia Peak 5 miles southwest of Nixon.

Associated Press contributed to this story.


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