Flooding nature's roulette wheel

You know trouble's brewing when the volunteers are filling sandbags down at the fire station.

A warm, wet storm hit earlier this week and the warning went out to be prepared for flooding. With snow levels at 8,500 feet or better, all that warm rain would have hit the snowpack like an ice cube in a frying pan.

Fortunately, the cold came in sooner than anticipated and snowmelt didn't come rushing out of the Sierra. A little bit warmer and we could have seen the second flood in as many months.

We've been told time and time again that we are dealing with probabilities when it comes to floods. A 100-year flood means there is a 1 percent chance in any given year that a big flood will occur. A 500-year flood means there is .2 percent chance.

Douglas County is a big place and the weather behaves differently depending on where you are, so while one place may have a 25-year flood, somewhere else may be getting inundated.

As Nevadans, we know that when playing the odds, the house eventually always wins.

Providence is the mother nature of all houses. Just because there is only a 1 percent chance, doesn't mean your property won't flood twice in two months.

With today's storm adding to the snowpack and spring just three weeks away, odds are that at least one roll of the dice will come up snake eyes and the rivers will rise.

While it is unlikely to be quite what the New Year's flood was, there's no telling and no predicting what the weather will do in Nevada.

We can't control the weather, but we can prepare.


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