Washoe County Says Flooding Could Start In Reno This Afternoon

Reno, Nevada. Jan. 8, 2017 – Washoe County, City of Reno and City of Sparks officials continue to prepare for a significant flood event that will strongly impact the region today, Sunday, January 8, 2017. The forecast shows flooding starting at around 2 p.m. today in downtown Reno and possibly lasting through around noon tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.  The Truckee River Flood Management Authority has released a new set of maps showing the simulated flooding. The maps are available online. Please review the maps and prepare for flooding.

Sandbag information is available at the following links:

“The flood simulation maps represent a valuable tool,” said Jay Aldean, Executive Director of the Truckee River Flood Management Authority. “This is the first time we’ve been able to translate weather forecast data into almost-real-time information for emergency responders on the ground.”

Flood events are unpredictable, and officials are keeping an eye on downtown Reno, the Steamboat Creek area including low-lying areas of Damonte Ranch, the Hidden Valley subdivision and nearby areas, and the Rosewood Lakes area. The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is now forecast to flood less than projected, but this does not mean that the flood risk has decreased in other areas.

The City of Reno, the City of Sparks and Washoe County have closed all public parks located along the Truckee River.

Temperatures and snow elevations are changing rapidly. Snowmelt is unpredictable and is causing water runoff to go in unexpected directions.

Evacuation centers are open at Sparks High, Wooster High and Natchez Elementary in Wadsworth.

First responders are also urging the public to stay away from the Truckee River. If first responders have to perform river rescues, it will divert valuable resources away from the flood response.

The flood waters are extremely dangerous. Flash floods can happen without warning. The water is fast and cold, which can be a deadly combination. Hypothermia can set in quickly. Please treat any flood water as contaminated water, as it could include sewage, fertilizer and other contaminants. Please keep pets out of the water, too, as they could absorb contaminants and transfer them to humans.

Do not drive in floodwaters. If you cannot see the ground, you don’t know the water’s depth. The road could be washed out, or you could get stuck in debris. Downed power lines could also pose an electrocution risk. Don’t drown, turn around.

Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen said he has increased staffing throughout this event. However, response time could be delayed due to weather conditions and increased call volume. There will be several road closures.

“My advice to residents is to stay home if it all possible,” Sheriff Allen said. “Stay put, stay safe, stay away from water. It is also very important to stay up-to-date on the latest weather and road conditions.”

Officials will be updating media and the public throughout the day at washoecounty.us. People are urged to follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #NVFlood17, or by calling 211 for information. In an emergency situation, please call 911.