State of emergency declared in Sparks, Washoe County ahead of expected severe flooding in northern Nevada

SPARKS — Residents and business owners throughout the Reno-Sparks area filled tens of thousands of sandbags to help protect against what’s expected to be the region’s worst flooding in more than a decade on the heels of a storm that dumped 6 feet of snow this week atop the Sierra Nevada.

The city of Sparks declared a state of emergency and the Washoe County Commission followed with a county-wide declaration delivered Friday afternoon to Gov. Brian Sandoval to help expedite the use of all available resources before the Truckee River begins rising above its banks late Sunday or early Monday.

“We had a series of briefings this morning and confirmed current models indicating by Sunday we will be in a flood event,” Washoe County Emergency Manager Aaron Kenneston told reporters Friday.

The National Weather Service on Friday issued a flood watch for the greater Lake Tahoe and Reno-Carson City-Minden areas for the period from Saturday night through Monday afternoon, warning that heavy snowfall and rain is expected to cause flooding along the Truckee and Carson Rivers, their tributaries and other creeks and streams.

The flood warning goes into effect Monday along the Carson River in nearby Lyon, Douglas and Churchill counties.

Authorities said the combined onslaught of heavy snowfall at high elevations and intense rain at lower levels could trigger the worse flooding of the Truckee since 2005-06, when 5 feet of water inundated the Sparks industrial area. Workers on Friday were trying to secure storage drums filled with hazardous materials to stop them from floating away as they have in past floods.

“They won’t only go into the river, they will be floating around the city of Sparks,” Acting Sparks Mayor Ron Smith said. “And when we find those barrels, we don’t know what is in them.”

The area is also home to marijuana growing facilities that are at risk of being flooded.

Scott Stites, who works at a metal shop in the Sparks industrial area near the Truckee River, was among dozens of people who braved temperatures in the teens to load sandbags into pickup trucks on Friday. A former resident of San Diego, he said he’d never seen major flooding before and wasn’t necessarily worried but wanted to take precautions.

“You hope for the best and plan for the worst,” he said.

The flooding isn’t expected to be as bad as in 1997, when most of the downtown Reno casino district was underwater, Reno-Tahoe International Airport was closed and damage totaled $1 billion across six western Nevada counties.

But authorities said it should rival the most serious event since then — the 2005-06 flood that swamped the Sparks industrial area just east of Reno and south of U.S. Interstate 80. It’s home to hundreds of commercial businesses that employ 25,000 workers.

Authorities set up more than dozen locations around Reno and Sparks where local residents and business owners could fill sand bags to help protect against flood waters. More than 50,000 bags had been filled by midday Friday, acting Sparks city manager Neil Koutz said.

The Truckee River’s flows in Sparks should peak at about 5 feet above flood stage at about 5 a.m. Monday, the service said.

Sparks officials announced late Friday they would begin to close roads around the industrial area and some Interstate 80 southbound off-ramps at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Authorities urged residents to stay away from the swift, churning waters throughout the weekend.

“I know that it can look incredibly awesome, but it is very dangerous,” Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve said. “It is moving extremely fast and it is very, very cold.”

“If possible, this would be a great weekend to stay home,” Kenneston said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like