Protecting Dry Homes From Rising Water - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Protecting Dry Homes From Rising Water

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While it is too late for some homes in Lemmon Valley, crews are working to protect homes that are in danger down the road.

Officials expect the water in the Swan Lake Nature Preserve to rise another four to five feet, so crews with the Nevada Division of Forestry are going door-to-door wrapping homes in plastic and laying sandbags to protect from creeping waters.

"I will end up losing my house here in the next month," says Kim Siminoe, who's lived at her home on Tupelo Street near Swan Lake for 25 years. Friends and family helped her lay sandbags and Visqueen plastic around her home. An NDF crew come in to finish her garage.  She says she's only dealt with flooding once in the past, and it was from snow and not Swan Lake, "We had that big snow storm in '05 and it all melted and went underneath my house. So the lake did not come over and flood."

Sand bags should only be filled about half way, giving the sand room to spread and lay flat. Crews stack them in staggered rows, like bricks, to keep them sturdy. The plastic is stabled to the walls of the home with the sandbags to create a seal between the plastic and the ground.

"(the plastic) will prevent standing water from permeating," says Capt. Joe Schum with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, "So that's why we're trying to line the home with Visqueen first. Sandbag it to hold it in place and then as the standing water creeps up, it should hold."

The crews are going house-to-house starting with the homes closest to the water and will work out systematically from there. Aerial views from Washoe County's RAVEN helicopter help the officials see where the water is (almost every day) and predict which areas are in the most danger down the road.

"Just the same as pouring water on the ground, as it spreads out," says Capt. Schum, "We're making our perimeter larger and larger in the same fashion, under that prioritization."

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