A prayer for Markleeville

Bent but unbowed, Markeeville is digging out from under the Aug. 3 flooding that washed out Highway 89.

Bent but unbowed, Markeeville is digging out from under the Aug. 3 flooding that washed out Highway 89.
Brad Coman | Special to The R-C

It’s a 90-mile round trip between Gardnerville and Markleeville over Monitor Pass and it’s better than an hour drive in the best of circumstances.

Just about half of the town’s roughly 200 residents took a break from digging out to attend Saturday’s Town Hall on the flood that washed out Highway 89 at the Millberry Creek crossing.

The closure of the road divides the county in the roughest possible way. It’s as if a giant chasm opened up between Minden and Gardnerville with only the longest and most inconvenient route available to get to the county seat.

Alpine County residents were just seeing some daylight after the contagion of 2020 and the conflagration of 2021.

A successful Death Ride brought lots of people to town last month and while the streams and creeks have been down, anglers are going to angle, and buy food and supplies.

But with business down by half despite relatively fair conditions the last thing the town needed was a big flood, and of course that’s precisely what occurred.

While there is very little good news in all this, there’s no report anyone was seriously injured in the flooding.

While we’re heartened that estimates for the reopening of Highway 89 has been moved forward, 2-3 weeks is still a long time to make a 90-mile drive over one of the curvier roads in the eastern Sierra.

If things go well, the town might be open before Labor Day, and we certainly encourage residents and businesses to shout that to the rooftops.

We’re a little reluctant when it comes using the full voice in encouraging visitors in the meantime. Most of the businesses are open downtown, but many of them rely on supplies and workers coming from Gardnerville and as we’ve already said that’s going to be difficult.

If you do go to Markleeville, we ask that you be patient and generous in your support.

We are confident that the residents of the tiny town will weather this latest disaster, but we know that they will need significant support.

We love that Alpine County is our neighbor, and we’re happy to do what we can to continue to support them.


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