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Storm creates havoc on roads

Nevada Appeal Staff and Wire Reports
Photos by F.T. Norton/Nevada AppealRelentless snow Friday caused a number of accident on area roadways including three separate accidents, one of which is shown here, on Lakeview Hill on Friday afternoon.
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Heavy snow Friday snarled traffic and made more ominous a concern of flooding in the region.

A winter storm pounding the region is expected to drop major precipitation through the middle of next week.

That, coupled with a mountain snowpack at 150 percent and the ground already saturated by recent rains, means flooding is almost certain, said Fire Chief Stacey Giomi.

Officials are warning residents that storms will likely cause flooding that could equal the flood of 1996-97.

Residents who need sandbags to protect their homes can pick them up at the Sandbag Filling Station at the Corporate Yard, 3303 Butti Way (located off Fifth Street). Sandbags also will be available at the Carson Middle School parking lot on King Street.

The Public Works Department had 3,000 bags filled Thursday, and by the end of business Friday, there were nearly 10,000 bags available.

On Friday the relentless snowstorm kept Carson City deputies busy responding to more than 20 minor accidents, including a semi truck rollover Friday morning on the southbound exit from the freeway onto Carson Street.

Lakeview Hill had a series of accidents as well with about three separate fender benders about 1:30 p.m.

Troopers from the Nevada Highway Patrol stayed extremely busy as well, responding to approximately four dozen automobile crashes on area highways, said Trooper Chuck Allen.

According to Allen, between

6 a.m. and noon, 47 accidents took place throughout Northern Nevada as a result of falling snow, slippery roadways, and inexperienced drivers. Additionally, there were dozens of spin-outs and slide-offs on many highways as well.

The portion of Highway 395 between Carson City and the North McCarran Boulevard interchange in Reno, along with the Interstate 80 corridor between the state line and the USA Parkway interchange, were the two major areas that saw most of the crash activity.

In addition to the snowstorm snarling traffic it also forced flight delays and cancellations in the Reno-Lake Tahoe area.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokeswoman Trish Tucker said the storm caused more than four cancellations and 13 delays.

The storm also has prompted widespread chain controls on highways in the region, including on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit.

The National Weather Service says the storm should be the start of a prolonged stormy period lasting through the middle of next week.

The storm is expected to bring 3 to 6 feet of snow to higher elevations around Tahoe by Sunday afternoon.