Winter is just around the corner and with its arrival also means the possibility of flooding. Residents in Douglas County aren't taking any chances. At an information meeting in Gardnerville on Wednesday, they learned about ways to better protect their homes.

After talking to flood professionals, Many people found out it surprising that flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance.Often times you have to take out a separate policy. Experts say you might want to do so, especially if you live in a flood zone like parts of the Carson Valley. 

River floods in the winter are a real danger for Northern Nevada.

"It happens under conditions where you have a good snow pack and then we get a warm kind of pineapple express, rain event," said Courtney Walker, the Storm Water Program Manager for Douglas County. 

We've seen floods rage through the region in the past years. The most well-known event was the flood of 1997, when the Truckee and Carson rivers spilled over.

Walker adds, "We haven't had one in a while and a lot of people have moved to the area since then. So they haven't seen it. So we really want to raise awareness that it's a possibility."

Sally Bowman knows there's a risk. The threat of water inching towards her new home in Minden has her getting prepared. 

"Since we're new to the area and since we know there's flooding,  we thought we should find out what to be aware of and what we can do to maybe protect our property," said Bowman. 

Bowman and her neighbors learned about buying flood insurance, zoning maps, and safety plans at the meeting. 

Other than river flooding in the winter, flash flooding is also a possibility in late spring through early fall. 

District Fire Chief, Todd Carlini of the East Fork Fire Protection District said, "People can get into trouble rather quickly. Even in just six inches of water in current, can actually sweep people off their feet."

Carlini has responded to several flood events over the years and he's seen just how damaging the water can be.

In flood prone areas like Johnson Lane in Minden, residents are making changes. 

John Cobourn lives in Minden and has seen his neighbors getting prepared. "For people who live on Johnson Lane, now that we know that they do happen, some people are actually working on their landscapes to try to divert flood waters away from their houses."

Experts say getting flood aware now is necessary. A disaster could happen in a moments notice. 

Walker adds, "Those events happen really quickly. It's hard to forecast and get the word out."

One way to alert people is Reverse 911. In Douglas County you can sign up to receive text messages to your phone when emergencies like floods happen. 

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