Highway 395 fully open as flood recedes
With two lanes of traffic crossing Cradlebaugh on Saturday morning, the traffic congestion that plagued Carson Valley commuters on Friday was alleviated.
“As the water continues to recede, NDOT will open more lanes,” East Fork Deputy Chief Dave Fogerson said on Saturday.
The highway, which is the main connection between Carson City and Carson Valley, reopened Saturday afternoon, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.
After the closure of Highway 395 Friday morning due to flooding, anyone traveling to Carson Valley was forced down Jacks Valley Road through Genoa.
Traffic was bumper to bumper for miles north and south of town despite the presence of Douglas County deputies directing traffic.
For a time on Friday, when Kingsbury Grade was closed, that traffic didn’t include Lake Tahoe commuters who had to take the Valley route because Highway 50 at Cave Rock was closed.
Because of flooding along the Carson River, most east-west routes from Jacks Valley and Foothill to the center of the Valley were closed on Friday. Muller Lane reopened Friday afternoon. As of Saturday morning Genoa, Mottsville and Centerville lanes are all open as flood waters recede.
“The river crested last night at 12 feet and is at 11.8 feet right now,” Fogerson said on Saturday. “Flood stage is 10 feet, so we do have some receding yet to go. They expect it will be below flood stage by tonight.”
Flood hotlines will be open until 5 p.m. Saturday giving out public information 782-9099 or 782-6404. The majority of the phone calls involve road condition questions, Fogerson said.
Minden received 1.4 inches of rain on Friday and Saturday, bringing the total for February to 2.78 inches. That makes it the wettest February on record since 1997, when 5.13 inches of rain fell in the Douglas County seat.
Not even that was the record for the month, which was 5.22 inches set in 1938, according to the National Weather Service. The average for the month is 1.15 inches.
Since the water year began on Oct. 1, 13.19 inches of precipitation have fallen in Minden, 67 percent more than the average 8.89 inches it sees during a year.
The National Weather Service is forecasting drier weather through Wednesday, with yet another atmospheric river arriving in the Sierra on Thursday.
While the next system will be weaker, it will cover a broader front and will include additional impulses into the Presidents Day weekend.
With snow levels starting at 9,000 feet and not dropping to 6,000 feet late Friday morning, there’s a chance of additional flooding.
The heaviest precipitation is expected to occur prior to the dropping snow levels generally Thursday evening.
“This precipitation will renew some flooding concerns for urban areas and small streams which have been sensitive to moisture,” according to the long-range forecast. “River responses for the Truckee and Carson Rivers are more difficult to predict due to uncertainty in where the best banding will set up at this time.”
Forecasters suggest using the next few days to clear culverts and drains.