Recovery and Clean-Up Face Parts of Northern Nevada After Flooding

Image: Washoe County.

The region is cleaning up and recovering from flooding that occurred yesterday and today. Officials continued to ask the public to stay away from the Truckee River.

“Teams are working around the clock to assess and document damage,” according to Washoe County. “This includes reopening roads, when safe, and turning traffic signals back on. The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) will be offering free rides through tonight at midnight.”

Officials are urging citizens to avoid travel unless it is necessary. Drivers should be extra cautious of standing water and debris on roads.

Residents of Verdi’s River Belle Mobile Home Park are asked to boil water for at least 10 minutes until further notice.

“Areas serviced by Truckee Meadows Water Authority are not affected by this warning. Water in the Autumn Hills area is safe to drink and the sewage system is fully functional,” officials said.

Road Closures

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public to pay attention to road signs that advise of impassable conditions over Donner Pass.

Road closure information is posted here: Washoe County’s website.

Multiple vehicles have gotten stuck on Henness Pass Road above Dog Valley.

“This is not a safe I-80 alternate route, despite some GPS directions. WCSO advises people to stay in Reno until the road has been cleared,” officials said.

Southeast Connector

The Southeast Connector Project saw some flood damage, but according to the RTC, it was to be expected.

“Once the creek water entered the construction site, the water did come into contact with stockpiles of soil containing mercury, however those stockpiles were surrounded with berms of soil without mercury,” said the RTC’s Michael Moreno. “A total of 12 stockpiles of soil containing mercury are located between South Meadows Parkway and Mira Loma Drive. …It appears 11 of the 12 stockpiles are undamaged.

“One stockpile appears to have had a partial failure of the clean soil berm. However, we are unable to ascertain the degree of contact, if any, of the actual stockpile of soil containing mercury which may have experienced erosion. Once the floodwater recedes, the project team will be able to more closely inspect and assess the situation,” Moreno added.

He stressed that mercury  concentrations are likely to be lower that what occurs naturally in Steamboat Creek.

“We do not expect there to be a risk to the public health and the environment,” he explained.

Outreach To Houseless Neighbors

Non-profits and volunteers have been scrambling to maintain services for the homeless. Volunteer Katie Colling said that she is concerned that the Sparks Police Department is threatening those in Sparks with arrest and removal if they don’t go to shelters.

“Pat Cashell at Volunteers of America Northern Nevada is knocking it out of the park to accommodate the people being abandoned by Red Cross,” she said. “We still have people (and everything they own) outside. It is secured at Deer Park (in Sparks). We need Sparks Police to leave them alone (and to) let them recover from the flood.”

The City of Reno’s Lauren Garber said that the homeless shelters are open now that the temporary Red Cross shelters at Wooster and Sparks High Schools are closed.

If people need a place to stay, they are asked to contact the Red Cross at 775-848-2926 or 775-856-1000 after hours.

#CraneGuy Gets Recognized

The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino is thanking excavators from Q&D Construction, also known as Claw Arm MVPs and #CraneGuy on social media, with a $1,000 donation to the Red Cross.

“The operators bravely removed debris from the Truckee River during the Nevada flooding that occurred over the weekend. Four operators will try their luck on the Game Lab claw machine in an effort to win an additional $50 each for the Red Cross,” said the Peppermill’s Kati Silva.

The event is Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 11:30 a.m. at the Game Lab arcade inside the Peppermill at 2707 S. Virginia St.

Storey County

Storey County sent the following update:

County and other crews will continue post-flood damage assessments in Lockwood, Mark Twain and elsewhere in the county.

Lockwood water line should be repaired and online by Tuesday at 9 a.m. Portable restrooms are available at Lockwood Fire Station. Showers available at Rainbow Bend Clubhouse for Rainbow Bend and LCC residents without water. Boil water warning continues to be in effect tonight in Lockwood.

Road status:

  • USA Parkway, open
  • Six Mile Canyon Rd., severe damage, impassable and closed
  • Painted Rock bridge, open but debris on bridge, use caution
  • Cercle de la Cerese bridge in Lockwood, damaged and closed
  • Canyon Way south of LCC in Lockwood, closed for cleanup
  • State Route 342 Gold Hill, closed for several days except to local residents southbound from Virginia City
  • Sam Clemens in Mark Twain, closed until water recedes

Storey County School District is on a two-hour delay for Tuesday, Jan. 10. If roads are deemed unsafe, a notice will be sent. Emergency Coordinating Center now in semi-activated status and will reconvene Tuesday at 8 a.m. to determine next steps.

Contact NVFlood17@storeycounty.org and 775-847-INFO (4636) for updates.

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About Bob Conrad 824 Articles
Bob Conrad is proprietor and co-founder of ThisisReno. He manages ThisisReno and Conrad Communications, LLC, his marketing communications consulting company (disclosure: client work includes projects funded by grants through UNR) and is an adjunct faculty member at Truckee Meadows Community College. He is a contributor to Reno Public Radio.

1 Comment

  1. This is a good and comprehensive article helping us think beyond the flood to all the damage that occurred in our area. I think there is more to be written about and understood about what is happening to the homeless people and about what actions need to be taken. From what I just read, it sounds like we have a larger, sadder problem than is usually recognized. Surely we, this wonderful community, can do better.

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