Assistance is available for sandbag placement

Truckee-Irrigation District said the Carson River at the Ft. Churchill bridge could be ramped up to 4,000 cubic feet per second by the end of the week.

Truckee-Irrigation District said the Carson River at the Ft. Churchill bridge could be ramped up to 4,000 cubic feet per second by the end of the week.

Help for elderly and disabled residents who need assistance with the placement of sandbags is available this week, said Incident Commander Bill Lawry of the Churchill County Emergency Management Team.

“If you could use this assistance or know someone who could but possibly doesn’t have Facebook, please call 775-423-4177 and let the schedulers know,” Lawry said. “We had a few calls on Monday.”

For those residents and businesses still needing sandbags, he said about 80,000 sandbags are on pallets at the Churchill County Fairgrounds. Lawry also thanked volunteers — individuals, civic groups and businesses — that have filled or delivered sandbags or stacked sandbags on pallets.

Churchill County Sheriff Ben Trotter said Churchill County and Truckee-Carson Irrigation District crews removed some trees that fell into the Carson River.

“There are still a few (trees) in the river and plans are being made to either remove them or for continued monitoring depending on the size and location,” he wrote on the CCSO Facebook page. “We urge everyone to continue to monitor the river for flow and possible obstructions and let the sheriff’s office know if they observe any obstructions or the river backing up in places which could indicate an obstruction down stream.”

Trotter also said the rising waters from the river and in the desert are a result of water flowing from the V-line emergency weir and spillway could be displacing wildlife.

“This wildlife will include but not be limited to small rodents, snakes and even coyotes,” he advised in his post. “Please be alert for snakes around your pets and children as the displaced animals search for new drier homes.”

Trotter is also urging people to stay away from the swift moving waters of both the canals and the river.

Flood mitigation work in providing another outlet for water may be completed within 10 days, said Ernie Schank, president of the TCID Board of Directors. County and TCID crews along with volunteers are digging a 60-foot wide, 15-foot deep channel from the Carson Lake area south of Pasture Road to the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge and then out to the Carson Sink.

“We have dug approximately 13 miles of ditch in the ‘big dig.’” Schank said. “We have about three miles to go. It’s an area between Highway 50 and point reservoir.”

Schank said eight excavators are on the project in addition to eight tractors and scrapers, which are part of the volunteer “Farmer Brigade.”

“The portion from point reservoir to the central ditch in the Stillwater wildlife area has been completed,” he said. “As soon as the last three miles are done, it will be ready to evacuate water from the Carson Lake to the Carson Sink via Stillwater.”

The National Weather Service’s flood advisory remains in effect for the Carson River corridor, advising residents and business owners of the potential for future flooding. Temperatures in the Fallon-Fernley area will reach in the low 80s this week, but a front moving in for the weekend will bring a chance of rain and temperatures in the 60s. Because of the increased snowmelt, Schank said the river flow at Fort Churchill may be at 4,000 cubic feet per second by the weekend.

The weather service also issued its first flood advisory last week for the Truckee River after a increased flow of water out of Lake Tahoe into the Truckee River.

“The increase in flow will lead to minor flooding along the Truckee River from the Lake Tahoe Dam to Truckee and abnormally high flows along the river through Reno and Sparks. These high flows will likely continue into early summer,” the weather service reported.

A community meeting to discuss flood mitigation efforts is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. in the Churchill County Commission Chambers, 155 N. Taylor St.


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