Rain, lightning, hail, pound Storey County
July 19, 2002
Thursday’s storm is being blamed for dislodging a 500-pound boulder which seriously injured a 9-year-old Dayton girl.
The girl was taken to Washoe Medical Center with facial trauma and a broken femur, according to Mary Ellen Holly of the Central Lyon Fire District.
Holly said the girl was playing in one of the ravines near Sheep Camp and Grosh Avenue after Thursday’s rain storm.
The boulder, which measured 3-by-5 feet, appears to have been loosened by the storm, which brought hail and rain to Western Nevada.
Flash floods, hail and lightning left Virginia City without power for about two hours.
“About 1:45 (p.m.), lightning hit a pole near the Bucket of Blood Saloon,” said Barbara Bowers of Storey County’s Public Works Department. “We were all in the dark.”
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“We have an emergency generator at the courthouse. It kicked in, then died,” said Storey County deputy clerk Lorraine Du Fresne.
Bowers said Public Works Director Richard Bacus was checking roads after flash floods inundated Six Mile Canyon and a midday hailstorm turned Virginia City’s streets white, then quickly melted.
Hail also fell in Dayton and Carson City, causing brief power outages.
Officials from Sierra Front Dispatch said lightning ignited 15 new fires from Doyle, Calif., to Silver Springs, and most were easily contained. Three of those were in Storey, according to Fire Capt. Ron Atkins.
“We have about three single-tree fires, started by lightning in the Virginia Highlands and the Six Mile Canyon area,” he said.
The 3,200-acre Ellsworth fire 50 miles southeast of Fallon is 15 percent contained and the 9,900-acre Gate Complex fire is 90 percent contained.
“Some hand lines are going in because we can’t get a bulldozer into the terrain, but all-in-all, the news is good with all of this high humidity and moisture,” said spokesman Dan Erbes of the Bureau of Land Management.
According to National Weather Service forecaster Mark Brown, the stormy weather will continue, today’s forecast includes a 30 percent chance of rain. The next chance for any real precipitation will be Sunday and the weather is expected to remain unsettled for some time.
“High pressure, stronger than anything we’ve ever seen, brought last week’s heat,” he said. “The atmosphere tends to strike balances and the thunderstorms are a way of returning to more normal temperatures. The sun heats the ground and the heat lifts the air, creating the potential for more storms.”
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