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Standley White

Possible flooding in Reno and Sparks

By November 30, 2012

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Update: This afternoon, Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County declared a state of emergency in anticipation of possible flooding over the weekend. As a pre-emptive strike, the declaration makes the cities and county eligible for federal disaster relief funds should they be needed. For the latest news on the situation, refer to the City of Reno website.

The nice weather party is over. As I write, what weather forecasters are calling an "atmospheric river" is rolling over the Truckee Meadows, with the worst yet to come this weekend.

Flooding in Reno's Wingfield Park during 2005, Nevada, NV
Flooding in Reno's Wingfield Park during 2005.
Photo © Stan White

High winds and heavy rain have been pounding Reno and the Sierra Nevada since Thursday. Another, even wetter round is scheduled to hit Saturday and Sunday. Local emergency officials are warning residents to be prepared for a significant rise in the Truckee River and tributary streams flowing through the area.

Long-time residents know where the potential trouble spots are, but if you haven't seen this movie before, be extra cautious around these areas where they are close to the Truckee River...

  • Lockwood, Wadsworth, and Nixon east of Reno / Sparks.
  • Vista Boulevard, Rock Boulevard, and E. McCarran Boulevard in Sparks.
  • Sparks industrial zone along Greg Street.
  • Wingfield Park and the Arlington Street Bridge in Reno.
  • Low lying areas upstream from downtown Reno.
These places have a history of going under during past floods, but there have been plenty of others when it's been bad enough. Learn more from "Truckee River Flood Preparedness."

If you must be out and about, use extra caution when negotiating wet roads. If it's under water, turn around. Check the weather forecast and road conditions before venturing forth. Highway travel around and over the Sierra Nevada mountains is going to be worse than in the Reno area. If possible, postpone your trip until the weather improves after the weekend.

Sparks Hometowne Christmas canceled - Sparks officials have canceled the holiday events scheduled Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1. All emergency personnel are all being placed on alert for possible flooding and other storm-related problems. Events are now set for the following weekend.

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