Speed of the Truckee in Miles per Hour - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Speed of the Truckee in Miles per Hour

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Flooding some of our neighborhood bike paths and low lying areas, the flow rate of the Truckee in Reno is about three times more than average for this day. Since water is being released from Tahoe to make room for snowmelt a Flood Advisory is up for the Truckee, including the Reno area. As the Truckee runs high we may continue to see some minor impacts in low lying areas. The speed of the river is also a concern for the public. 

"You can come down and see it safely, it's an issue of getting in the river that causes the problems. That's what we're warning people against," said Fire Chief Dave Cochran. 

Experts have a good reason to worry, too. The river is moving at a speed of roughly nine miles per hour in Reno. 

"That does not sound all that fast but if you were to be in the water or in a boat you would think it was very fast," said Hydrologist Tim Bardsley from the National Weather Service. 

Depending on the terrain and slope of the area, the speed of the river changes quickly. Even a matter of two hundred yards can make a difference. For example, areas that have been mitigated for drought purposes, can flow at a faster rate than others. 

"It's relentless. It can go constantly so there's not a time to step back catch your breath and reset because the river does not sleep. It keeps the pressure on you. That's why it's so dangerous," said Cochran. 

Cubic feet per second gives hydrologists a measure of volume, which is something they need to make flooding forecasts and see the power of the river. To convert it to miles per hour is no easy task. According to hydrologists one CFS is about seven and a half gallons of water moving by a point in a given second.

"When we're talking about the Truckee River right now it's running at about 5500 CFS, cubic feet per second through Reno.That's your 10,000 or so basket balls moving by in a second. That's if you want to look at it that way," added Bardsley.

Hydrologists expect the Truckee to remain high through June, so we have several more months to go with a high flowing river. The river gets more dangerous at night, not only because of lack of vision, but our waterways also tend to get slightly higher then, too. The same goes for our creeks and streams. 

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