Truckee Residents Breathe Sigh of Relief After Weekend Storms - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Truckee Residents Breathe Sigh of Relief After Weekend Storms

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Residents of Truckee, California are used to harsh weather and they were bracing for the worst with Sunday's storm system.

"We were out yesterday talking with people who live along the river and checking storm drains," said Squaw Valley Fire Chief Peter Bansen. "We really wanted to practice rescue avoidance and help people make good decisions early rather than waiting until too late. And, it worked."

On Sunday morning, Truckee resident Dick Howell watched the raging river from his balcony at a major bend in the river. He watched the flood of 1997 from the same spot.

"This is the worst I've seen since 1997," he said. "My biggest concern is the debris. It's heading for my house like missiles, but I don't think the water will get much higher than this."

He was right. The river didn't go over flood stage with this storm. While the river was angry for most of the day, most of the homeowners we talked to were remarkably calm.

"We are river guides and we love the river," said Craig Lindsay, who lives on Foxmead Lane, one of the more flood-prone areas in Truckee.

"We love the river," he said."We know it will do this, so we prepare for it. We landscape up there, but here along the river, we know it will flood. That's what rivers are supposed to do."

Other residents who live higher up in the hills were anxious to get along the river to see how bad it would be Sunday.

"I've seen worse than this," said Lex Winans. "I really thought it would be higher."

"I think what saved us was that we didn't have a huge snowpack to melt and add to the river flows this time, like we did in 1997," said Dirk Hooser.

The weather caused the problems, and ironically, the drop in temperatures also helped.

"Just when we were expecting the heaviest rain, it turned to snow, "said Chief Bansen. "It was wet and heavy, but it stuck together and glued to the mountain and stayed there, rather than flowing into the river. I think that really helped a lot."

While they had an evacuation center set up, it closed at 1 p.m. Sunday without having any evacuees checked in at all.

Written by Erin Breen  
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