Major flooding could come Monday morning in Carson City
The Carson River isn’t expected to hit its peak until mid-Monday, with major flooding coming possibly by late Monday morning, the National Weather Service said Saturday. However, the peak of the storm increased again according to forecasters. Be safe, but most of all be prepared. Here’s what you need to know:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Saturday afternoon the atmospheric river that has brought all of this rain and snow will cause the Carson River to reach its peak of 11.4 feet by Monday. This change pushed the time back almost 12 hours from Friday’s forecast. The 11.4 feet would equal “major flooding” comparable to the flood of 2005, where the river crested at 11.4 feet. The river was at 3.2 feet Saturday afternoon. It was expected to rise about 8-feet by nightfall today. During the flood of 1997, the river hit 17.22 feet.
“Major flooding with significant damage to roads, bridges and structures from Genoa to Fort Churchill, including Carson City and Dayton. Most roads in valley areas are flooded making transportation very difficult. Massive erosion with large agricultural losses, possible livestock drownings if they have not been moved to high ground,” read the alert from the weather.
A flood warning has been issued for today and Monday. The storm was expected to drop between 6 to 12 inches of rain around the Tahoe Basin, the Carson Range, the foothills of Carson City and Reno. In the lower elevations of Carson City, 2 to 4 inches of rain was forecast by the National Weather Service through Monday.
The National Weather Service says the Truckee River in Nevada is expected to reach flood stage this afternoon in downtown Reno due to runoff from nearby mountains.
Flooding is expected in an industrial area of nearby Sparks later Sunday, with peak flows at about 5 feet above flood stage early Monday.
A winter weather advisory issued for the Reno area for Saturday warned of hazardous travel conditions due to light snow and freezing rain.
WHO IS AT RISK
Everyone including livestock and pets. Those at the highest risk are near creeks, burn areas, urban poor drainage, construction areas, and rivers.
In Carson City, that includes drainage areas such as Ash, Combs and King’s canyons, and property near the Carson River, said Daniel Rotter, Carson City engineer.
Flooding often results in widespread power outages, so be prepared for long periods without power.
Stay up to date/ Resources
Carson City non-emergency flood hotline: 887-2355 for all calls and questions that are non-life threatening emergencies.
Carson City has opened a shelter at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 411 N. Saliman Road near the high school, on the corner of Robinson and Saliman.
Go to http://www.carson.org/flood or carson.org/government/departments-g-z/information-technology/flood-alert-page.
The Nevada Appeal also has a live feed of the latest from local and state emergency management. Go to nevadaappeal.com for more.
Residents can sign up for CodeRED emergency alerts to their cell phones and email at carson.org/alerts.
Do-it-yourself sandbag filling stations are available at 202 S. Curry St., near 3rd Street; Fire Station No. 52, 2400 E. College Pkwy.; Ross Gold Park, 280 E. Appion Way; Ormsby Boulevard at Washington Street; Winnie Lane at Foothill Drive; and at the Carson City Corporate Yard, 3505 Butti Way.
If needed, an evacuation shelter will be designated from several identified shelters in the city, including the Multi-Purpose Athletic Center, Carson High School, the Carson City Community Center, Carson Middle School, Eagle Valley Middle School, Al Seeliger Elementary School and Carson City Fairgrounds/Fuji Park.
The city posted a video with information at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR7b1KpYfpU.
Information on the state of the Carson River can also be found at http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=rev&gage=STWN2.
More safety information is available at http://www.nevadafloods.org.
What to do
Be prepared and never drive into flood waters.
Government entities have urged residents to not leave their house until the storm has passed.
Before a flood:
Water: At least a three-day supply (one gallon per person per day and extra if you have pets)
Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods
Medications: At least a seven-day supply
Medical items: Hearing aids and batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, canes or other walking assistance tools, items for people with disabilities
First aid kit
Flashlight with extra batteries
Rubber boots and rubber gloves
Copies of personal documents (medication lists, important medical information, deed/lease to home, birth and/or marriage certificates, insurance policies, etc.)
Cell phones and chargers
Family and emergency contact information
Extra blankets, clothing, and shoes
Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, water, carrier, bowl, blankets, toys)
Be prepared in case there’s a power outage, have electronic devices charged
Extra sets of vehicle and house keys
Priceless items or valuables
Camera for photos of damage
A NOAA weather radio which receives broadcast alerts directly from the National Weather Service
During a flood:
Listen to the TV and/or radio for flood warnings and reports of flooding
Take advantage of sandbags if your home/business is in a flood prone area — be prepared, as these take longer to fill than you might think
If you have a basement, make sure your sump pump is working, consider a backup battery operated one if necessary
Clear debris from gutters or downspouts
Cautiously clear small items out of waterways, anything bigger than a tumbleweed should be removed by an emergency service person
Anchor any fuel tanks and outdoor furniture
Move important documents and valuables to a safe place
Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice
When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there
Don’t try to walk in flood waters, just six inches is enough to knock you down
Don’t try to cross a flooded road, turn around and find an alternative route. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of water
Keep children out of the water
Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize potential dangers
Know your evacuation routes (several may need to be identified) and have a place to stay
Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas and is ready to go if you need to leave an area quickly
If you don’t have a place to go, contact the city to determine where evacuation shelters are located
Establish a communication plan with family — determine ahead of time where you will meet or go if you should get separated
Use text messaging or social media to let friends and family know you’re safe
If you should happen to get trapped in a building, vehicle, or outdoors during a flood, get to the highest spot you can and try to signal or call for help.
After a flood:
Only return home when officials have declared the area safe
Shut off utilities until it can be determined they don’t pose a risk
Use flashlights, not lanterns, torches, or matches to examine buildings, as open flames may cause a fire or explosion if gases have been leaking
Before entering your home, look for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks, or other damage
If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department
If parts of your home are collapsed or damaged, approach carefully
During cleanup, wear protective clothing, rubber gloves, and rubber boots
Be especially cautious of mold, asbestos, or lead paint contamination
If food or water have come into contact with floodwater, discard these items
Work with your insurance company if you have flood insurance
Let people know you’re safe
Unfortunately we can’t prevent floods, but we can prepare for them. By having a plan in place and communicating that with people closest to you will help ensure peace of mind and safety.
List provided by Lindsay Chichester, extension educator with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
The storm is what is referred to as an “atmospheric river.” The National Weather Service says that can be defined as a conveyor belt of vapor that extends thousands of miles from out at sea, carrying as much water as what could fill 15 Mississippi rivers.
Because of the magnitude of the storm, the Carson City Board of Supervisors signed a resolution declaring a state of emergency on Thursday. This is based on the dollar amount of damage sustained during a crisis, which will make available additional funding and state resources to help during and after a catastrophe hits.
The resolution was brought to board in advance because the board was already assembled at the first of its two monthly meetings. The resolution won’t be submitted to the state until if and when the city spends $193,459 on supplies, equipment and personnel, the threshold for asking for assistance from the state, said Stacey Belt, Carson City deputy emergency manager.
Lyon, Storey, Douglas and Washoe counties also all have declared a state of emergency.