Weather surprises Valley residents |

Weather surprises Valley residents

by Caryn Haller
A student boards a Douglas County school bus on Thursday morning in Sunridge.
Shannon Litz | The Record-Courier

NVEnergy crews are working on repairing a downed wire in the Smith Valley and Topaz Ranch Estates areas. Approximately 900 homes are without power and some telephone service.

An unexpected amount of snow fell in the Valley this morning as commuters awoke to 4 inches of snow in Minden and Gardnerville, and 7 inches in Genoa and the Gardnerville Ranchos.

“It’s been a couple of years since we’ve had this much snow at one time,” weather watcher Stan Kapler said.

The record was set Feb. 19, 2011, when 8 and a half inches fell.

Schools at the Lake were on a one-hour delay, and Valley bus drivers faced delays as well.

“It was a busy morning for us. We can only go 25 when we have chains on,” said driver Patti Bertram. “Buses are the safest thing to be in when it snows. I counted eight cars off the road this morning. A lot of people weren’t prepared for the snow.”

Douglas County, Minden and Gardnerville all had their plows out clearing the primary roads first before making their way to the secondary roads.

For a copy of the snow removal policy, visit

Chains or snow tires are required on all mountain roads with Douglas County Sheriff’s dispatch receiving regular calls for motorist assistance.

AAA is calling for up to an hour wait for stranded motorists.

NVEnergy responded to multiple power outages in the Ruhenstroth and Johnson Lane areas.

The Johnson Lane outage affected about 50 customers due to a car sliding into a cable box. Power was restored by 10:15 a.m.

Ruhenstroth had outages off and on throughout the day which affected almost 300 customers.

“When the heavy, wet snow on the lines fall off, it causes a bounce and ends up blowing some fuses,” said Faye Andersen of NVEnergy, “and it keeps going off and on all day as long as it keeps snowing.”

Smith’s cashier Eddy Love said business usually picks up when it snows.

“When there’s weather people think they need to rush in and buy a bunch of groceries,” he said. “I love it when we get weather because we always get a lot busier.”