Reno flood dangers pass; Sierra rain turned snow

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 3, 2012 at 5:44 pm •  Published: December 3, 2012
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RENO, Nev. (AP) — Residents of northern Nevada and the Sierra were relieved to be gathering up sand bags instead of flood debris Monday after a sudden shift in the weekend weather turned rain into snow, keeping rivers and streams largely within their banks in Reno, Sparks and Truckee, Calif.

Rescue crews searched for a homeless man in Reno who reportedly fell into the Truckee River off a limb Sunday night. They had no confirmed reports of any injuries or serious property damage.

More rain was forecast to move into the Sierra on Tuesday night and Wednesday, but precipitation on the eastern side of the Sierra front was expected to total only a few inches, significantly less than last week's storm that brought more than 6 inches to Truckee and nearly 4 inches in south Reno.

Businesses owners had braced for the worst and piled hundreds of sand bags along the Truckee River in anticipation of flooding over the weekend, especially in the industrial areas of east Reno and Sparks that were hardest hit by 1997 flood.

"We were lucky," Sparks Assistant City Manager Steve Driscoll said.

"We dodged a bullet," added Gary Barbato, a National Weather Service hydrologist in Reno.

The danger passed Sunday afternoon as the colder weather brought the snow level down in the mountains and river flows peaked well below flood level in east Sparks.

"Just when we were expecting the heaviest rain, it turned to snow," Squaw Valley Fire Chief Peter Bansen said.

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