Carson cleans up; more weather expected today
Sunday appeared to be the calm between storms as residents shoveled snow, cleared downed trees, and waited for Sierra Pacific to fix downed power lines in Carson City and neighboring areas.
Mark Vallejos, a Carson resident for 12 years, was sitting in his living room at 3179 S. Carson St. watching a movie Saturday night when the roof was blown off his apartment.
“It sounded like a train. It was horrendous. I said to my wife, ‘… there went the roof.’ It was up against the power lines, arching,” he said.
The roof was blown into the driveway of the complex, trapping residents in the parking lot. Vallejos was able to drive across an adjacent field in four-wheel drive vehicle to get out.
“I made a mad dash to Lowe’s to get some Visqueen,” he said, holding up the attic hatch in the hall to let daylight flood in. In his kitchen, a constant stream of snow melt was draining off the light bulbs, filling buckets every 20 minutes. In his bedroom, water leaking through the ceiling caused 2-foot blisters behind the paint.
Red Cross workers showed up on the scene Saturday night to offer help, but most of the residents stayed at friends’ houses.
Outside a sign left by the Carson City Fire Department read, “This structure is unsafe for occupancy. Do not enter.”
On Musser and Minnesota streets, a whole village was in chaos Saturday night. It was the living Nativity scene around the First Methodist Church.
“All of our luminaries were going down the street,” said Brit Olson, director of youth and family ministries.
There are 200 people in the cast of the living Nativity scene, and Olson doesn’t think they’ll be able to reschedule everyone. Sunday afternoon, a wet hand cart, empty manger and a lonely black-and white-cow with the ear tag No. 2090 were all that was left in the melting snow.
Across the street at the First Presbyterian Church, an 80-foot cottonwood tree damaged two metal benches when it was blown down.
The winds also played havoc on schedules of Sierra Pacific Power Co. employees, who were scrambling to reconnect power for thousands of customers Sunday.
Spokeswoman Faye Andersen said they were still trying to reconnect power to 1,000 customers in Virginia City, where power went out around 4 p.m. Sunday. She said 1,800 people were without power between 4 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday in downtown Carson City after a tree fell onto power lines on Curry Street.
About 1,700 customers lost power near upper Johnson Lane after an equipment failure at an area substation. In Genoa, about 900 customers lost power for about 24 hours. About 30 power poles were knocked over in Minden. South of Gardnerville, 1,700 people lost power when three poles fell. Sierra Pacific was looking at a way to run power to that area from Yerington, according to Andersen. Power was restored to Virginia City at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
A pole went over at Stanton and Woodside Streets in east Carson, where a group of neighborhood boys were checking out the damage on Sunday.
“It was way farther over than that,” said Matt Marizza, 8, who saw the pole tip. The pole has since been stabilized by a Sierra Pacific Power truck. “It was like almost on the roof of that house earlier.”
Gilbert Higera, 11, said shingles were blown off his roof, and Brixton Soriano, 12, said his fence had been blown down.
Schools in Virginia City are closed today, due to roof damage caused by the heavy winds.
The National Weather Service also issued a high-wind watch for Monday in the Reno-Tahoe area. The weather service was calling for gusts of more than 80 mph in the Sierra Nevada and of up to 65 mph in the Reno area.
For today, NWS expects a 60 percent chance of rain or snow for Carson City, depending on how low the freezing level drops. Tuesday should be more of the same with a good chance of snow in the valley floor.
If you need shelter, call the Red Cross: 856-1000
For highway conditions, call (877) 687-6237
or go online at: http://www.nvroads.com
or, on the radio, in Carson City tune into to 1610 am or in Reno or Lake Tahoe, tune in to 530 am.
Nation Weather Service on the net: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/Reno/