WASHOE COUNTY NEWS RELEASE
Snow levels are starting to drop to lower levels than expected which may alter peak flows on the Truckee River. Monitoring will continue throughout the morning and afternoon to determine the actual impacts, with another briefing scheduled at 3:00 p.m. today. Flood levels are expected to peak mid-day today along the Truckee River through Reno and Sparks, the National Weather Service reported at a briefing this morning at 10:00 a.m. Based on this morning’s briefing, the Regional Emergency Operations Center (REOC) would like to issue the following information:
Weather & Flooding. The National Weather Service reported rainfall levels have been approximately 1 inch in the Reno area, and are expected to reach a possible 2 inches on the valley floor, with 2-5 inches in the mountains. The Truckee River water level at the Reno Gauge is holding with flooding levels at 11 feet, which is at flood stage level for that location. Minor flooding is still expected at Idlewild Park and the other downtown parks, with flooding along the tops of the banks of the river.
Peak river levels at the Vista Gauge is predicted to be at 18.7 feet (updated from 19.1 feet yesterday), which is 3.7 feet above flood stage of 15 feet for that location. Peak flows are expected to be at 11,500 cubic feet per second (cfs), which is well below 1997 peak flows. The flood depths expected are from one to four feet in the Sparks Industrial Park area and south of the river to Mira Loma Drive. Moderate flooding is also expected from Vista Drive in Sparks downstream to Nixon. Flooding will most likely occur in the urban areas of Washoe County to some degree on several of the small creeks and streams, and all local governments have been inundated with requests for sandbags. Sandbags continue to be available with plenty of sand on hand. For the nearest sandbag location, please visit floodawareness.com for a map and list of the locations.
Debris. Several reports of debris in streets and gutters have been reported causing additional local street flooding. Residents and business owners are urged to clear debris to ensure flood waters can flow and drain to the proper storm drain locations. To report debris, please call 211 or Reno Direct at 775-334-3646 or go to ReadyWashoe.com and click on the “Report Damage” link on the homepage.
Road Closures. The City of Reno closed the downtown Virginia Street and Arlington bridges starting at 8:00 a.m. this morning. The bridges will remain closed for the duration of the storm and flooding event. The Reno Police Department will be closing main intersections leading into Sparks such as:
Mill Street/McCarran Blvd;
Greg St/Mill St;
Rock Blvd/Mill St;
2nd Street at Glendale Ave.
The City of Sparks Police Department began road closures at approximately 8:00 a.m. this morning. Based on the projected increase in river flows and flooding, the Police Department has closed all access to the Sparks Industrial area this morning at 10:00 a.m.
Road closures are in effect at the following locations:
Vista Blvd and I-80;
Sparks Blvd and I-80;
McCarran Blvd and E. Nugget Ave;
Rock Blvd and I-80;
Galletti Way and Kietzke Ln.
Road closures will be in effect until it is determined that the area is safe for citizens to return to their businesses or residences.
Evacuation Center. The Evacuation Center located at Sparks High School (820 15th Street, Sparks) will be open today at 12:00 p.m. through 10:00 a.m. Monday morning. Please remember to bring any and all necessary personal items and medications needed for your stay throughout the duration of the evacuation. The Washoe County Social Services Department will also be available at the evacuation center for those who may be in need of their services.
The Red Cross and Washoe County Regional Animal Services (WCRAS) are co-located at Sparks High School with the intent that citizens and their animals will be on the same site. The Red Cross will be setting up in the large gym with coffee, snacks, and water. If you need to bring your pet to the evacuation center, please bring any medications and/or special food your pet requires along with their collar and license/rabies tag. If you need assistance with your pet or are concerned for any animal, please call Animal Services Dispatch at 775-322-3647.
The Livestock Event Center, located at 1350 North Wells Avenue, Reno is open as an evacuation center to assist residents as a temporary shelter for large animals.
Emergency Calls. Law enforcement officials are asking residents to only call 911 if there is an imminent danger. Because of the high volume of calls to 911, dispatchers are not able to answer non-emergency calls. Non-emergency calls should be directed to 211, 775-784-8085, or Reno Direct at 775-334-4636. Law enforcement is responding to emergencies only.
Regional emergency response officials ask for the public’s help during this flood event. Specifically, residents are asked:
DO NOT DRIVE ON THE ROADS AND HIGHWAYS UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. STAY HOME.
DO NOT WALK OR DRIVE IN FLOOD WATERS, AS THERE ARE HAZARDS WITHIN THE WATERS AND COULD BE CONTAMNINATED.
IF YOU MUST DRIVE, SLOW DOWN. LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTS SEVERAL ACCIDENTS DUE TO PEOPLE DRIVING TOO FAST ON FLOODED AND HIGH WIND ROADS.
AVOID PARKS, BIKEWAYS AND PEDESTRIAN PATHS ALONG THE TRUCKEE RIVER SPANNING FROM THE STEAMBOAT DITCH ALL THE WAY THROUGH EAST SPARKS.
WATCH FOR DEBRIS AND EXERCISE EXTRA CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
IF YOU ARE ASKED TO EVACUATE, PLEASE TAKE MEDICATION, IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS AND PETS WITH YOU. YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RETURN FOR SEVERAL HOURS OR EVEN DAYS.
IF YOU LIVE IN A LOW-LYING AREA NEAR THE RIVER, STREAMS, DITCHES OR CULVERTS, MONITOR THE SITUATION. CREWS ARE OUT CLEARING THESE OF DEBRIS AS MUCH AS THEY CAN, BUT YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS TOO.
BE AWARE OF INTERSECTION TRAFFIC LIGHTS BEING DOWN. REMEMBER TO ABIDE BY NORMAL 4-WAY STOP PROCEDURES.
IF YOU NEED SANDBAG SUPPLIES, YOU CAN OBTAIN THEM FROM VARIOUS FIRE STATIONS THROUGHOUT TOWN. CHECK OUT WWW.FLOODAWARENESS.COM FOR LOCATIONS, OR CALL WASHOE COUNTY AT 775-328-2180, RENO AT 775-334-4636, OR SPARKS AT 775-353-5555 FOR SANDBAGS.
IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL 911. IF NOT, CALL 211 OR 775-784-8085 FOR INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE.