Swollen river menaces lower Silver Springs | NevadaAppeal.com

Swollen river menaces lower Silver Springs

Steve Ranson
Water surrounds the tower at Lahontan Reservoir, which has received more than 4 billion gallons of water since last week. The reservoir has been a beneficiary of the rain and water from the Carson River. As of Thursday, the reservoir contains more than 100,000 acre feet of water.

The days of torrential rains in Silver Springs worried residents who live near the Carson River.

Combined with the melting snowpack in the Sierra, the river swelled over its banks to send water toward homes southeast of 9th Street. The flooding has worried former Fallon resident and Churchill County High School graduate Rachel Novak Leach, a Silver Springs Elementary School teacher, who has lived in the area for 15 years.

“The water was so bad a couple of days ago,” Leach said.

The rushing waters heading toward Lahontan Reservoir’s southwest mouth kept rising and came within 100 feet of her home. Since that time, the water receded, the closest she said the water has reached her house.

“I was surprised how fast the water was moving toward the reservoir,” she said.

Until snow blanketed most of western Nevada on Thursday, Leach said it rained hard on Tuesday night into the early morning, but she welcomed Wednesday’s blue skies and warmer temperatures.

I was stressed because I didn’t know where the water was,” she said of the river’s downstream current.

With flooding stabilizing on Wednesday, Leach was relieved the county canceled school for safety reasons. Much of the flooding for the past several days has disappeared in the Silver Springs area except for patches of standing water surrounding homes or businesses along the highway.

County manager Jeff Page said crews are still dealing with flooding and flowing water in culverts in some areas of Silver Springs.

“Road Crews are working to repair culverts so that citizens can get out of homes,” he said in a statement. “SAR personnel and NDF (Nevada Department of Forestry) crews will be responding to flooded properties and sandbagging where necessary.”

In addition to the flooding, the area is dealing with 2-4 inches of snow that fell all day Thursday. Page said country and Nevada Department of Transportation crews spent the day clearing roads and sidewalks throughput the county.

The majority of the flooding, though, is occurring along the river banks. Water flooded parts of a pasture and an old building across from Buckland Station on U.S. Highway 95 Alternate, and the clearance between the river and the bottom of the Weeks Bridge had narrowed since Sunday. A campground about 1,000 yards south of the bridge was under 4 to 5 feet of muddy water.

Engineers from the Nevada Department of Transportation arrived at Buckland Station shortly before 3 p.m. to ensure water didn’t rise to flow over the bridge. Heavy equipment from Fallon’s A & K Earth Movers was also stationed across the bridge in case it was needed for any flood-related repair, said NDOT spokeswoman Meg Ragonese.

The severity of Thursday’s snowstorm also closed Naval Air Station Fallon in the afternoon.

Beginning Friday, though, the Fallon area will see some precipitation before 10 a.m., but the next three days is calling for party cloudy skies with highs hovering near 40 and the lows in the upper teens, lower 20s.

Lahontan Reservoir also added more than 2.8 billion gallons of water in a 24-hour period, and as of Thursday, the daily water master report shows the lake with 103,897 acre feet.