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Carson Valley has own flood video

Joyce Hollister

Carson Valley has its own flood video, and the tape rivals that of any flood tape on the market.

Jeff McBryde, a professional videographer since 1984, is a part-time Douglas County deputy, so he was able to get many spectacular scenes of the New Year’s flood of 1997 from areas where most people could not go.

What McBryde says is unique about the video is that he doesn’t “just get pictures of flood waters going by.”

“It tells the story, it’s in chronological order,” he said. “I shot on the first, then the second, then the third.” The flood began Jan. 1 and was particularly devastating on Jan. 2.

“The idea was to show the damage, not just the flood,” he said.

He took scenes of Riverview Bridge and the Highway 88 bridge, for instance, under floodwaters, then later after the flood had receded. He was able to show the damage and in some cases, the repair and cleanup later.

“I wanted it to be informative,” he said. “It’s history, this flood.”

The tape includes subtitles of where the scenes were taken and voice-over talking about the flood and its devastation, so that people who buy a copy will have something to refer to in later years when the subject of the Flood of ’97 comes up.

In the tape, McBryde compared this flood to that of 1986, which he had also videotaped, and using information from the U.S. Geological Survey, he talked about this flood as it compared to the one at Christmas 1955.

“I like to compare,” McBryde said. He was able to find a photo of the old power dam wall of five years ago, and he compared it to the damage done during this flood.

He also documented the impact the event had on the community during the flood – including scenes of traffic jams at Lutheran Bridge and on Highway 395 through town caused when the rest of the bridges in the Valley were cut off.

The tape is being sold for $15 and net profits of the sales will be donated to the American Red Cross and Douglas County Search and Rescue.

Carson Valley Inn bought the rights to the tape, according to Bill Henderson, CVI director of marketing. The inn and The Record-Courier are sponsoring the sale. KGVM-FM radio is a supporter of the project and is helping to publicize the tape sale.

The volunteers in the Douglas County Search and Rescue Team will use their funds to purchase equipment.

“Search and Rescue has specific things they’re looking to buy as a result of their activities during the flood,” Henderson said. Members found that they were short of needed equipment for rescues in flooding conditions.

In addition, the American Red Cross, Henderson said, has estimated that it has spent over $160,000 in Douglas County alone as a result of the flood.

“Any money we raise will help offset that,” he said.

In the past few years, the Red Cross has come to Douglas County for two fires and the flood, according to Henderson.

“They don’t call first and ask how much money we need. They come. This is a small way to refill their coffers.”

The Carson Valley New Year’s flood tape is sold at the Carson Valley Inn’s gift shop, which is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to midnight. The tape is also available at the R-C office weekdays at 1503 Highway 395 N. Suite G.