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Washoe, Douglas, Lyon, and Storey counties open warming shelters for people without power

Update, published Sunday., Jan. 1, at  8:50 p.m. PT.

Storm results in tens of thousands without electricity

Washoe, Douglas, Lyon, and Storey counties have opened warming shelters for people without power. Roughly 28,000 Nevada residents were affected by power outages as of 8:50 p.m. Sunday, according to NV Energy, and power might not be fully restored until Tuesday.

For Washoe County residents, there is a warming center at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center located at 4590 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89502, operated by Washoe County Emergency Management with the support of the Red Cross. Washoe County Regional Animal Services is providing a few crates for pets as well. If you need transportation to the center, call the Washoe County Sheriff’s non-emergency number at 775-785-9276.

Douglas County has an emergency warming shelter for residents at the Douglas County Community and Senior Center, 1329 Waterloo Ln, Gardnerville, NV 89410. Additionally, Douglas County Emergency Management has collaborated with Harvey’s Lake Tahoe to put a warming area in place at the Harvey’s Convention Center Pre-Function area, 18 US-50, Stateline, NV 89449. The casino will provide coffee, water, power strips, and tables from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday.

Lyon County has opened a warming shelter at the Dayton Senior Center, 320 Old Dayton Valley Rd, Dayton, NV 89403. Residents with supportive medical devices who need assistance due to the power outage are welcome. The City of Yerington has also opened a warming shelter at the James Sanford Community Center located at the Yerington City Hall, 14 East Goldfield Ave. Pets are welcome but must be in a crate or on a leash. If you need transportation to the shelter, call the non-emergency Lyon County Dispatch number at 775-463-6620.

Storey County has two warming centers. One is at the Virginia City Fire Station, 145 C St, Virginia City, NV 89440, in the small building on the south side of the station. Residents can charge their phones there but are asked to bring water, snacks, and cell phone power cords. The other is at the Lockwood Senior Center, 800 Peri Ranch Rd, Lockwood, NV 89434.

The Row and Peppermill Reno are also offering discounted rates to those without power. Use the code “SNOW23” at The Row and “HSNO” at the Peppermill. Bring your local ID. Other safety tips can be found here.

NV Energy outages can be found and reported here.

To learn about road conditions, including closures and chain and snow tire requirements, visit the Nevada Department of Transportation’s map here. Live updates can also be found at @nevadadotreno and @nevadadotelko. Find California highway conditions here.

Update, published Saturday, Dec. 31, at 6:45 p.m. PT.

Winter storm brings heavy snow

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Western Nevada, including the Lake Tahoe area, Reno and Sparks, Carson City, Minden and Gardnerville, Verdi, and Virginia City, along with the Western Nevada Basin and Range, including Pyramid Lake, and Mineral and Southern Lyon Counties.

Other areas under the warning are Northeastern California, including Mono County, Eastern Sierra, including Lassen, and Eastern Plumas, through Sunday at 4 a.m.

Eastern Nevada, including Northern Elko County and the Ruby Mountains, and the East Humboldt Range, along with White Pine and Southern Lander and Eureka Counties, are also under a winter storm through Sunday at 4 p.m.

Heavy snow is forecast. Officials are advising residents to avoid travel because you could get stuck in your vehicle. If you must travel, bring an emergency kit with food, water, and clothing.

Tips for staying safe during a winter storm by the Red Cross can be found here.

Update, published Thursday, Dec. 29, at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Officials ask residents to prepare for potential flooding

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Northeastern California and Western Nevada from Friday morning through Saturday evening. There’s also a flood watch for Humboldt County through Sunday morning.

River, creek, and stream flooding, especially on the east fork of the Carson River near Gardnerville, is possible, according to officials. As well as flash floods anywhere along the Susan River near Susanville.

Fire scar areas are also a concern, particularly where the Tamarack Fire burned. National Weather Service meteorologist Heather Richards explained why.

“With burn scars, the soil after a fire behaves much like concrete, and so when it rains or snows on top of that soil, it will not absorb as readily as it would have prior to the fire. Instead, it just runs right down the slope,” Richards said.

Residents are advised to avoid walking or driving through flooded streets, turn on government alerts, and clear drainage areas. Also, think about grocery supplies, and the safety of your neighbors, and animals.

Original story, published Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 4:15 p.m. PT.

City of Reno Utilities Services explains how to use sandbags

Sandbag filling stations are available ahead of potential flooding from rain expected to hit the Reno, Sparks, and Carson City areas later this week. Snow is expected in higher elevations, according to the National Weather Service.

The City of Reno’s Director of Utility Services, Trina Magoon, explained how sandbags can be used.

“Sandbags can be used to build a little wall to protect your home from runoff or ponding water,” Magoon said, “Typically, they’re stacked in a brick wall formation at locations you want to protect from flooding, so at your doors, or other parts of your yard that you want to protect if you have low-lying areas.”

Residents are also advised to clear debris from storm drains, gutters, and walkways, secure loose objects, and have an emergency plan.


Below are lists of sandbag filling locations in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Susanville and Douglas, Washoe, and Lyon counties. They are open 24 hours and equipped with empty bags and sand, so bring your own shovel.

Sandbag filling locations in Washoe County. The bullet points without addresses are intersections and general areas where sand is stored.

More information on sandbags in Washoe County can be found here.

Sandbag filling locations in Reno

More information on flooding in Reno can be found here.

Sandbag filling locations in Sparks

Sandbag filling locations in Douglas County.

Residents can sign up for emergency alerts from Douglas County here

More information on flooding in Douglas County can be found here.

Sandbag filling location in Carson City

Sandbag filling locations in Lyon County. Bags are located inside the brown bear box.

Humboldt County residents can receive emergency alerts and other resources from the county’s free mobile appcalled “Stay Ready Humboldt County,” available for Android and Apple smartphones. The county does not currently have sandbag filling stations.

Sandbag filling location in Susanville

Sandbag filling locations in El Dorado County

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning journalist covering politics, focusing on democracy and solutions for KUNR Public Radio. Her goal is to provide helpful and informative coverage for everyday Nevadans.
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