Monday Storm Causes Power Outages, Brush Fires - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Monday Storm Causes Power Outages, Brush Fires

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Thunderclouds followed record-breaking temperatures into the Truckee Meadows on Monday, and it was wet for a few hours, but the storm didn't pass without leaving its mark in some areas with power outages and the lightning, which kept firefighters on their toes.

"You'll see with thunderstorms, you get the outflow winds with them," said Battalion Chief Mike Heikka with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. "If you don't get any rains, you'll get a lightning strike, and you'll get an outflow wind, and you can get 60-mile-an-hour winds immediately."

Today's storm brought in some fierce rain drops.

"I heard all this racket," said Jennifer Martin of Pleasant Valley. "I looked outside, and it was like the water's streaming down the roof. It was like a hose at full force."

Along with that, there were some power outages in different areas. In north Reno, police were directing traffic because the stoplights were out. Also, whether people were floating the Truckee River or golfing, the flashes in the sky were a concern, and caused them to pack up early and head for shelter.

"It came down pretty heavy actually," said Frank Baldwin of southwest Reno, who floated down the river with his friends. "We were counting the thunder and lightning. It was a couple miles away."

"I was nervous swinging the golf club around with the thunderstorm over the top," said Andy Merchant of south Reno.

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District has a protocol in place when storms like this roll in. Basically, they have units spread out to different parts of the area. When there's a call for a lightning strike, the closest truck heads out.

"Everybody's in a position where we can kind of look and see," Battalion Chief Heikka said. "So, if we do get that reported fire, we can get a single-engine out there real quickly, and hopefully suppress it when it's real small. If not, we call for more reinforcements. 

There were several reported lightning-caused fires, but fortunately, crews were able to quickly put them out and keep each of them to no more than a handful of acres.

"The thing that helped us out today was that as the lightning came through, right before the rain," Heikka said. "Then, the rain came through, and caught most of the fire. So, we're very fortunate for that."

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