Reno, Sparks, Washoe County Declare State of Emergency in Preparation of Flooding
Reno, Sparks and Washoe County have declared a state of emergency due to expected flooding and record high winds across the region this weekend. The Industrial area of Sparks near Vista Boulevard is expected to see four feet of water above the Truckee river banks. Throughout today, workers for Nesbit construction are among many preparing for the storm. They shovel sand into bags in front of a warehouse in the Sparks Industrial Area, along the Truckee River. That area is expected to see the worst flooding due to the storm. "We're just trying to save the buildings in case the water does come high enough," siad Scott Kline with Nesbit Construction. He says they've been out since 7 a.m. sandbagging doors at about ten warehouses nearby. Local businesses are doing their part too. Inside the warehouse of Mission Tortilla, boxes of tortillas and chips sit off the ground, as workers prepare for potential flooding. "We have everything two feet off the ground, and everything sandbagged at the back of the warehouse," said Colby Ogilbie, the district sales manager for Mission Tortilla. During the 2005 storm, Ogilbie says the front office had six inches of water. Reno, Sparks and County officials held a press conference this afternoon, urging residents to stay indoors and away from the river. Officials have characterized the storm as a 25-year flood, with heavy rain and record-high winds. Washoe County Emergency Manager Aaron Kenneston says those who experienced flooding during storms in 1997 and 2005 should prepare for this storm as well: "If you had water on your property in those events, you should take premeasures because there is a strong likelihood that you will have water on your property this time as well," Kenneston said. Local officials emphasized the three governments are working together in a joint effort. For information on sand bag locations, emergency kits and more go to www.floodawareness.com.