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Truckee River Flood Preparedness

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Reno Truckee River Flooding 2005

Sandbags protect downtown Reno businesses during New Year 2005 flooding.

Photo © Stan White

Living in the Truckee River Flood Plain:

The Truckee River celebrated New Year 2005 by flooding parts of downtown Reno and surrounding low spots in the Truckee Meadows. It was just another in what has been a never-ending series of periodic Truckee rampages ever since settlers set up a town on the banks of the river. Inevitable as the flooding has been, progress is being made on controlling the water and making the area less prone to floods.

Truckee River Flood Control Planning:

Roughly every ten years, the Truckee River generates a damaging flood. The 1997 inundation was a major event, putting downtown Reno under several feet of water and turning much of the Sparks industrial area into an inland sea. Before then, what is now Sparks Marina Park was a big hole in the ground called Helms Gravel Pit. Filled with flood water, the pit became Nevada's newest lake.
This flood was the impetus for launching the Flood Project Coordinating Committee, a group of local officials whose goal is prodding the political process toward taking real action on flood protection. The recent agreement on a "living river" flood control concept has started real steps toward making life in the Truckee flood plain a less risky proposition.

Truckee River Flood Project Information:

Plan Ahead, Be Flood Ready:

Meanwhile, the threat of flooding remains very real. Use these resources to assess the risk and be prepared should a flood be predicted. By being ready, you will be safer and can minimize property damage.

  • Reno Flood Information Center
    Emergency preparedness in event of a Truckee River flood in Reno.
  • Truckee Meadows Flood Awareness
    Flood safety information and tips on how to keep your family and business flood safe, flood zone maps, helpful information from FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Agency), emergency contacts and more.

Have a Disaster Kit Ready To Go:

Washoe County Emergency Management suggests you have these items and supplies ready to go should you need to evacuate. Keep them in a duffle or backpack that is easy to carry.

  • One gallon per person per day. Store in sealed, unbreakable containers. Identify the storage date and replace every six months.
  • Non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.
  • Change of clothing, rain gear, sturdy shoes.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • First aid kit and prescription medications.
  • Extra pair of glasses.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries.
  • Credit cards and cash.
  • Extra set of car keys.
  • List of family physicians / health care providers.
  • List of important family information, such as the model and serial number of medical devices like pacemakers.
  • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
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