Flood Officials Warn Of Melting Snowpack
Nevada could see Katrina-style flooding due to the massive snowpack currently blanketing the Sierra Nevada.
Officials with the Nevada National Guard and other emergency planners briefed governor Brian Sandoval on the potential flood scenarios once warmer temperatures begin to melt the snow.
The state has already endured two flood situations that triggered federal disaster declarations in February and March for western and northern parts of the state.
Nearly three months later, the Sierra snowpack has grown to record levels in some places and communities in the Carson and Walker river basins are at risk. The melting rate is expected to quicken as the weather warms in May and rivers could be at high levels deep into summer.
Sandoval said Churchill, Lyon and Douglas counties have declared emergencies in advance of the coming snowmelt and more could join that group.
The briefing was a chance for National Guard officials to update Sandoval on snowpack, water and dam data they compiled over recent weeks.
It showed points at which the Walker and Carson rivers potentially could swell well beyond flood stage. According to the presentations there is an estimated 208 billion gallons yet to flow down the Walker by July and 239 billion gallons down the Carson. It didn’t include an estimate for the Truckee, which is larger than the other two.