Sutcliffe Without Running Water - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Sutcliffe Without Running Water

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Residents in Sutcliffe are still without running water and the timeline for a permanent fix is still up in the air.

Anyone who does not live in the area is asked to stay away while the community recovers. All fishing and recreation is closed at the lake until further notice.

William R. Crutcher says he got power back at his house around 7 p.m. Tuesday night after it went out Monday, but his faucets are still dry. 

His home of 35 years is just one in Sutcliffe with no running water. He and his wife can't do chores like the dishes or laundry and until recently, couldn't flush the toilet. 

As a local firefighter, Kenny Phoenix is using water, not to fight flames, but help residents. He is going around the neighborhood filling jugs of non-potable water for people to use. He's focusing on homes with children or elderly or handicapped residents.

"At this point in time, our priority is water. To restore water," says Alan Mandell, Vice-Chairman of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

The timeline for getting the water restored is up in the air. The pump house that fills the tanks supplying Sutcliffe's water is inaccessible. 

"We can't get to it to fix it," says Mandell, "so they have a couple of solutions that they're looking at to try and get some water in those tanks."

A liaison with the state emergency management visited the area Wednesday to assess damages. Donated bottled water is available for residents and the Red Cross is sending out case workers to homes starting Thursday. 

The Nevada Department of Transportation says it will take an "extreme" amount of work to repair Highway 446. Flood water washed out the road forcing people to take a 90 minute detour from Sutcliffe to Nixon.

Heavy equipment helped clear mud and debris off of Sutcliffe Dr. With no vegetation left after the Tule fire this summer, there was little to nothing stopping water from rushing into the community. 

"The rain, the fire, it's just been a dramatic year here so far and we've all stuck together and we're handling it, which is great," says Crutcher.

Tribal members and officials held a community meeting Wednesday night. Most residents worried about the water problems, as well as access to health services with Highway 446 out. 

Officials discussed solutions like bringing in two large portable shower units for the community, mobile health clinics, and van/shuttle service to get medications to people and people to appointments if they need assistance. 

"There's a lot of departments," says Mandell, "both tribal departments and and outside agencies that have contributed greatly to the efforts."

Anyone that needs information should call the tribe's flood hotline at (775) 574-1000.

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