Crews Clean Up, Repair Roads After Flash Floods - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Crews Clean Up, Repair Roads After Flash Floods

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About two inches of rain fell in just a few hours, Monday, leaving a destructive path in some areas.

About a dozen spots along Highway 447 are feeling the effects of the rain. Water rushed down the mountain, blocking sections of highway, taking pavement with it in some places.

Flash flooding caused nearly 20 miles of the road to close between Nixon and Gerlach.

Ed Ely works for the Nevada Department of Transportation and he says this is the most destruction he has seen from one storm.

"I've seen it storm out here a little bit and just some sludge come across the road but never anything like this," Ely said.

About 45 feet of asphalt was washed away by the flood waters in one location. Other areas were buried in mud and rock, about four feet deep. Even trees were washed away. "All kinds of debris, rock, sand, mud, brush," Ely said. "Everything that's up in the canyons came down and plugged the culverts."

The road has been closed since Monday afternoon.

The storm hit while travelers were still on the highway.

"There were people that were struck between washouts, and Search and Rescue, was pretty concerned about getting to them," Ely said.

Luckily, the Department of Transportation was able to cut a path to get those people out.

Crews also began removing mud and debris from some Spanish Springs neighborhoods, Tuesday morning.

"I tell you, it's a big help because people going out in their cars and getting in that, it's a dirty mess out there," Spanish Spring resident Paula Payne said.

Payne says water made it into her yard, almost reaching here house.

"Water just came all the way like a raging river and it picked up all the debris," Payne said.

Some of that debris included horse manure that the swift-moving water picked up from neighboring properties, leaving it in the street.

"It's a huge mess to clean up because the horse manure washes off people's fields and then it plugs the storm drains and then there isn't nowhere for the water to go," James Burke, of Washoe County Roads said.

Back on Highway 447, crews are being called from all over northern Nevada to undo what Mother Nature did in just a couple of hours.

NDOT officials say it could take up to a month before the road will be completely repaired but they do expect to have it open for traffic by Wednesday afternoon.

Written by Paul Nelson
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