Troubled waters

Troubled waters

Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration for Nevada on Feb. 17. Gov. Brian Sandoval made the request on Feb. 9 in response to damages caused by flooding in Northern Nevada in the first two weeks of January.

In his letter to the president, Sandoval noted that storms between Jan. 5 and Jan. 14 left “the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Lake Tahoe” with “358 inches of snow when the average January snowfall is 74 inches.”

The official damage assessment from the governor’s office is $14.82 million. This accounts only for the Jan. 5 to Jan. 14 time frame and applies only to Carson City, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, and four Nevada counties—Washoe, Douglas, Lyon and Storey.

In the interim between Sandoval’s Feb. 9 request and the president’s disaster declaration, Elko—on the east side of the state—was hit with serious flooding. The governor declared a state of emergency for Elko County on Feb. 10.

And the wild weather continues across the state. Even as the paper was prepared for press on Feb. 21, new flood warnings were in effect for Elko and Eureka counties and isolated flooding led to school delays and trapped motorists in the Truckee Meadows.

To give some perspective to the amount of precipitation this winter has brought to Northern Nevada, consider this: The National Weather Service reported that a record amount of rain—just over one inch—fell at the Reno Tahoe International Airport on Feb. 20. This amount broke the previous record of 0.67 inches, set in 1922.