Rain Storm Damages Nevada Roads
Northern Nevada has seen unprecedented precipitation this winter, and the recent storm has caused even more damage to roads.
Northern Nevada has seen unprecedented precipitation this winter, and the recent storm has caused even more damage to roads. Rain caused five large boulders to roll down onto U.S. 50 near Cave Rock, reducing traffic to one lane in each direction in the westbound lanes farther away from the slope. A concrete barrier has been installed to keep more boulders from falling into the travel lanes.
The storms have created one challenge after another in Storey County, with January flooding in Lockwood and Mark Twain. Snow has affected Virginia City and Gold Hill. Tuesday's rain has created more runoff because of melted snow, which has extended the closure of Six Mile Canyon between Virginia City and Dayton, because of several washouts.
"Usually, it would take about two to three weeks to get this road back open but we keep getting inundated with these storms," Austin Osborne, Storey County Administrative Officer said.
The road was completely washed away in one area of the road, and crews continue to patch it up and create berms to keep more water from coming onto the roadway. The goal is to open the road for emergency crews and school buses as soon as possible, but it will be closed to the public, indefinitely.
"The road's still not safe for public travel," Osborne said. "There's a lot of places that are tricky to navigate and we're keeping the road closed for that reason."
Washoe Valley residents have been dealing with flooding, due to the amount of runoff from Jumbo Grade. The amount of water was too much for many of the culverts to handle, which caused back-ups. That wiped out numerous driveways and caused the edges of East Lake Blvd. to collapse, though it did not cause the road to close.
"Every day we come out, we're finding a few different challenges we haven't run into yet, but one of the things about the crews being so diverse is we can adapt to those challenges," Robert Stults, Crew Supervisor for the Nevada Division of Forestry said.
NDF is filling sand bags in two locations in Washoe Valley. Residents say they will take advantage, knowing the rain will continue.
"I'm going to load my truck up and try to save us," Stephen Smith, Washoe Valley resident said. "If it is worse than yesterday, we're gonna have a problem out here."
Smith said he spent most of Tuesday on a tractor, helping to prevent flooding around his house and his neighbors' buildings.
"It was bad," Smith said. "It was over the road. It rutted under the road. The road was falling in several places. I'm gonna say at least 40 people's driveways were washed out, totally."
Geiger Grade is also closed down to one lane, requiring a pilot car for one-way traffic. Crews are repairing erosion below the highway that supports the highway. While it is down to one lane, it is expected to remain open during the repairs.