Thursday morning update:
Chain or snow tires are required on every major road in western Nevada Thursday morning as the area keeps getting pounded by a winter storm.
Nevada Highway Patrol and Carson City Sheriff's Deputies are responding to numerous incidents in Carson City and Douglas County.
Carson City is experiencing blizzard conditions to include low visibility and icy road conditions.
"We have had multiple vehicle accidents this morning and are urging drivers to stay off the roads," said
Stacey Belt, Carson City Deputy Emergency Manager. "The National Weather Service has adjusted their predictions for total snowfall, originally predicted 1-3 inches has been adjusted to 3-5 inches in Carson City."
The weather has closed the Carson City Landfill. If you have any questions or concerns about the landfill call Carson City Public Works at (775) 887-2355.
A winter weather advisory is in effect today through 10 p.m.
Forecasters said the focus of the storm will be south of Highway 50, with the possibility of 2-5 inches of snow, and up to 8 inches for places above 5,000 feet in elevation.
Snow levels are expected to lower to all Valley floors, according to the weather statement, with hazardous conditions predicted for highways 395 and 50.
From Lyon County this morning:
Flood Operations : South East Dayton, Marktwain, Stagecoach and portions of Silver Springs crews are still dealing with flooding and flowing water in culverts. Road Crews are working to repair culverts so that citizens can get out of homes. SAR personnel and NDF crews will be responding to flooded properties and sandbagging where necessary.
Communications Repeater: Rawe Peak repeater is currently functioning on battery backup.Crews have been to the site using a bull dozer to clear snow and make the road passable. Due to heavy snow and rain conditions the generator's block heater failed. Crews are on the way backup today. Private vendors that have equipment on the site have reported their batteries have failed. We are hopeful to have generator functional today. No ETA from NVENERGY as to when the power will be reestablished to the site.
Snow removal: Road Department, Facilities Department and NDOT are working hard to clear roads and sidewalks. between 1"-5" already on the ground county wide and still snowing.
NDEM has requested our potable water equipment for Sutcliffe. Crews are working to fill that order.
Carson City isn’t out of the woods yet, warns the National Weather Service (NWS).
NWS is forecasting light snow in western Nevada today, with heaviest snowfall south of Highway 50, and a cool, quiet weekend with inversions likely starting Friday.
But the ground throughout the area is so saturated any rain could lead to additional flooding.
“Region will likely be extra prone to flooding next one to two weeks,” read a briefing NWS delivered to emergency management departments Wednesday morning. “Keep flood mitigation measures handy.”
Heavy rains overnight Tuesday were unanticipated, said Stacey Belt, Carson City deputy emergency manager.
Carson City reestablished its emergency operations center for five hours late Tuesday night and isolated flood advisories were sent out by NWS at midnight and 2 a.m. Wednesday.
“Carson City citizens and homeowners got our alerts last night and were out assisting, checking drains, taking personal responsibility and helping crews,” Belt said Wednesday. “I am so proud of this community.”
Belt said seven strike crews worked overnight to mitigate flooding, including on Darla Way off Empire Ranch Road where several homes were inundated and on Curry and Rhodes streets where flood mitigation structures were breached.
“Some of the burn from the Shooter Fire may be contributing, that’s why it’s happening,” said Belt.
The Shooting Fire, started by gunfire, burned about 200 acres in the southwest hills behind Curry Street in August 2016.
The Carson River near Carson City was continuing to drop Wednesday, although not as quickly as projected.
At 3:15 p.m. Wednesday it was down to 8.08 feet from a high of 11.04 feet Tuesday morning.
Flooding also hit the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City. The museum will be closed for approximately 10 days to clean up damage sustained.
Prison crews assisted with sandbagging the property on Tuesday, and diverted runoff around the museum property to avoid further damage.
The main museum took on some water, but exhibits and historic collections were not damaged. The museum grounds suffered erosion and external property damage making it unsafe for visitors, and the grounds will be closed to the public until the cleanup and repair is completed, estimated to be around Jan. 21.
Gov. Brian Sandoval and Mayor Bob Crowell visited the museum on Monday and offered support and resources to repair the damage to the museum.
“What is most important is the state artifacts, and the health and safety of our employees and volunteers,” said Peter Barton, administrator of the Nevada Division of Museums and History. “Those most important things are protected and now we can look at how to repair the damage and restore the services the museum provides to the public.”
The public is advised to avoid the area as heavy equipment and work crews clean up the property.
In Lyon County, where the Carson River crested later, officials said Wednesday all of the flooding in northwest and southeast Dayton, Stagecoach and Silver Springs was due to run off and not from the river.
“Heavy rains have caused significant mud flow and standing water on the majority of the county roads in central Lyon County,” said Jeffrey Page, Lyon County manager, who asked everyone who could stay home stay off the roads.
Pottassi Road and Rancho Road were flooded and Central Lyon Fire was working to evacuate one family. Lyon County also had issue with a commercial radio tower at the Rawe Peak transmission site, which lost power and the backup wasn’t producing enough power. The road to fix the tower also was impassable. The tower provides radio communications for central Lyon and part of Storey County.
Western Nevada has been hit with more than half the average rainfall in the last 10 days — 3.98 inches of rain reported at the Reno Airport since the start of the year.
It’s the 7th wettest January since 1893 and the 12th wettest month ever, according to NWS.
Ski areas in the mountains accumulated between 8 to 11 feet of snow in seven days and more snow is expected today with avalanches a continuing danger.
NWS said another potential strong system could hit northern California mid-week next week, but it’s too early to predict its impact.
The Nevada Department of Transportation also was busy working to repair flood-damaged roads, including:
Kingsbury Grade: NDOT said late Wednesday afternoon that Kingsbury Grade remains closed between Tramway Drive and Foothill Drive on the Carson Valley side. Residences and businesses in the Tahoe area of Kingsbury Grade remain accessible.
“Last week, NDOT contractors repaired a sinkhole which formed where a drainage pipe crosses underneath the road approximately 10 miles up the Carson Valley side. Much of the new roadway surface and earth that was placed down to fill this previous erosion remained intact. With the overwhelming amount of precipitation, additional erosion occurred in the area, particularly to drainages. Contractors are anticipated to being repair work today. NDOT will do all possible to repair the road efficiently and quickly, but lingering snow and winter weather mean that no timeframe for reopening is set.”
State Route 342: State Route 342 between Virginia City and the SR 341 junction south of Gold Hill remains closed because of flood damage to roadway shoulders and guardrail. Local traffic is permitted on the southern, top section of State Route 342. The nearby alternate route of SR 341 is available to through traffic. Over the coming weeks, NDOT contractors will work to repair and reopen the road. The road is expected to be closed for us to two or three weeks. Storey County also has agreed to plow residential local roads in the Highlands area to provide access for emergency vehicles. Six Mile Canyon Road is expected to be closed for two to three weeks.
All told, NDOT said road repairs are estimated to cost approximately $6.5 million with a large portion of costs going to reconstruction of State Route 446. NDOT said federal reimbursement is anticipated for much of the repairs.
NDOT is asking drivers to anticipate travel delays and single lane reductions as repairs are made, and are advised to proceed through the area with caution and leave extra travel time.
Motorists can dial 511 or visit www.nvroads.com before driving for the latest road conditions.