I can see clearly

Ross Cooper is, among other things, a private citizen of Fernley.

I have been the resident of a rapidly-growing township 30 miles east of Reno, whose name sounds suspiciously like Schmernley, for more than four years now, and honestly, I didn’t even know the place could flood. Thirty-nine days, 39 nights of downpour and sure, some localized ponding could result, but any excess would outlet into the Forty Mile Desert downhill, and the problem would be solved. Oh no, as I learned on a recent Saturday morning around 0430. The rains had started in the foothills the day before and continued into the evening. The localized ponding I mentioned was in full force when we were dispatched to assist a vehicle stuck in moderately high waters near the TCID canal. Following our exciting salvage, where a tow-rope was tied to my mid-section, and I swam into the icy waters with a rescue line between my teeth, two skilled members of the opposite-of-south-county- just-next-to-Storey, guys-who-battle-flames -and-protect-our-lives-and- property-from-combustion Department and I decided to investigate the banks of the berm, as we were right there. The water level was not alarming, but the ground did feel squishy. At this point I turned to the other two guys and said, “You know, if it keeps on raining, the levee’s gonna break.”

Nothing. Blank stare. Absolutely no recognition of my ingenious pop culture reference. “Have you ever heard of Led Zeppelin?” Anyway, and I guess more importantly, I have at last discovered my superhero trait—the ability of predicting future catastrophic events through the use of classic rock lyrics. All bow now before my power.

But flash forward to the next morning’s events. Straight away upon hearing of the incoming flood, I did the prudent thing and went to my rooftop to await my turn for airlift off, until my neighbor informed me there was no water within four miles of our houses and would I please come down, as I was depressing both his property value and general demeanor. Well, having no immediate barge to tote or bale to lift, I did then witness the efforts of the community, which in all honesty came together in impressive fashion. I, for the most part, have nothing but admiration for the sizeable efforts of the many agencies involved in helping our citizenry, from the North Lyon County Fire Protection District, the Fernley Volunteer Fire Department, Lyon County Public Works and Water System, Southwest Gas, Sierra Pacific Power, the Nevada Red Cross and National Guard. And appreciation goes out to the people of my town themselves, who sandbagged homes, fed and housed their friends at the high school, and admirably helped each other. My compassion goes out for those whose homes were damaged in the event, and my hat goes off to all those others who gave meaning to the word “community.”