Valley spared from devastation |

Valley spared from devastation

by Regina Purcell, Staff Writer

The jet stream forced record winds and weather on the Carson Valley over the weekend and residents worked together to get through the storm.

Despite the severity of the wind and weather, no injuries related to the winter storm were reported. “With all the stuff and craziness going on, it’s a wonder,” said Terry Taylor, captain for the East Fork Fire and Paramedic Districts.

“I’ve been around Nevada all my life and have never seen, high, sustained winds like on Saturday.”

Rudy Cruz, weather analyst for the National Weather Service in Reno, said wind gusts up to 81 mph southwest of Gardnerville, and up to 92 mph east of Gardnerville were reported by weather spotters.

Winds clocked at 73 mph or greater are referred to as hurricane gale-force winds, Cruz said.

“The storm is pretty common, but the winds were a bit more extreme than what we are used to,” he said. “It was unusual that winds were sustained for a long period.”

Cruz said the winter weather won’t let up for much of the week, with temperatures expected in Carson Valley in the 40s, and a 30 percent chance for rain or snow every day until Friday.

Minden/Gardnerville recorded nearly a inch of precipitation over the weekend.

“It is another great storm,” said Arnold Settelmeyer, rancher and member of the Water Conveyance Advisory Board.

“We are starting to see a little localized run-off, and looking at snow on the Valley floor.”

“It’s good for our water tables.”

Although there are still several areas in Douglas and Alpine counties and near the California border without power, there has not been much cause for alarm.

The American Red Cross set up an emergency shelter Saturday at Carson Valley Middle School but only two families had been there and they were put up at the Carson Valley Inn.

“We are such a tightknit community, most people have friends or family to stay with,” said Richard Mirgon, director of Douglas County Emergency Management.

“While it was the worst wind damage I had ever seen, to my knowledge there were no injuries and damage only to trees, fences and roofs.”

Don Miner, chairman of the Douglas County Commission, said the moisture was needed, although county residents could have done without it all at once.

Steve Johnson of Smith’s at the south end of Gardnerville said customers have been buying up supplies of propane, lamp oil, batteries, candles and sterno.

“We are doing OKwith supplies and should be replenished (today),” he said.

Janet Risko said the Douglas County Animal Shelter lost power Saturday until generators were in place on Tuesday.

“We went through a lot of blankets (to keep the animals warm),” she said. “We kept chucking them in (with the animals).”

She said while community response to their call a few days ago for extra blankets is appreciated, the shelter could always use more.

The power loss also contributed to the closure of the Minden Medical Center Urgent Care in north Douglas County on Saturday. Patients were triaged and sent to Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

Medical Director Dr. William O’Shaughnessy said Urgent Care was reopened Monday once electricity was restored and the building could be heated.

Cheri Glockner of Carson-Tahoe Hospital said their staff did not experience any problems associated with the storm.

“We didn’t feel overwhelmed,” she said, “but very confident to respond to the needs of the residents.”

Scott Magruder, public information officer for the Nevada Department of Transportation, said crews were working around the clock Tuesday to keep roadways clear.

“Thing are going well,” he said. “We are out in full force and our goal is not only to clean the roads of snow and ice, but also provide traction with sand and salt.”

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue crews were also out in force assisting deputies with road closures and manpower throughout the weekend.

“We were helping block off streets where downed poles were and keeping people from running into power lines,” said Corey Permann of Search and Rescue.

As the storm continues throughout the week, county and town officials are confident.

“We were prepared for it,” said Mark Gonzales, manager of Gardnerville Water Co.

“Everything seems to be functioning well.”

n Regina Purcell can be e-mailed at