Low snow levels stem flooding
February 21, 2017
Lower snow levels kept the Carson River in its banks on Tuesday as a flood warning expired.
But all of the snow in the mountains is in the bank for potential future flooding.
East Fork Deputy Chief Dave Fogerson said no damage was reported from either the wind or the high water on Tuesday.
Heavenly Ski Resort reported receiving 42 inches of snow over 24 hours. A 20-foot deep avalanche buried Mount Rose Highway at the summit at 9:41 p.m. Monday.
Heavy rain fell in Carson Valley overnight, with Minden reporting .85 inches of rain.
Rain in the lower elevations was sufficient to cause the East Fork of the Carson River to rise to 12.82 feet early Tuesday morning, 3 feet short of its crest on Jan. 8 and 2.5 feet short of the Feb. 10 high water mark.
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But Monday's rain did raise February to the fifth wettest in Minden on record, with 4.16 inches. That made it the wettest February since 1962, which had 4.34 inches of rain, a record that could fall by the end of the month.
So far 15.04 inches of precipitation have fallen in the Douglas County seat, where records have been kept since 1906.
The wet weather dampened high winds, with the National Weather Service cancelling a wind advisory seven hours earlier than anticipated.
Winds in Carson Valley peaked at 54 mph, with a 48 mph gust recorded at Minden-Tahoe Airport at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday.
This week's storm was the third big weather event so far this year. Previous storms saw floods close Cradlebaugh Bridge in January and February.
The Feb. 9 floods saw snowmelt and rain fill Pinenut Creek through Fish Springs.
Resident Gretchen Walsh said the water carried sagebrush, rocks, mud and debris into her neighborhood.
"Neighbors mobilized all night to protect their property," she said. "The next morning deposits remained on roads and in yards. Jacobsen now has missing shoulders in many areas, and Lupo Lane is barely passable at the Pinenut Creek culvert."