Lower Threshold for Flooding This Season - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Lower Threshold for Flooding This Season

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Our first atmospheric-river event is forecasted to move through northern Nevada and California by the weekend, and while it's not expected to be strong enough to cause any flooding, the threshold for flooding this season is lower than last year because more water is in storage. Flooding is not guaranteed this time around, but the National Weather Service says we are a touch more sensitive than before.

With sand bags out front, Lemmon Valley resident Scott Novak is not looking forward to the winter season. In fact, he's still remodeling his house from last years flooding. From a scale of one to ten, he says he's about a nine when it comes to fear of flooding again. 

He has a reason to worry, he's gone through a lot, and unfortunately, with more water left over from last season, the threshold for flooding is somewhat lower this time around. 
"We will still need significant warm, wet events to get flooding but might get there a little sooner. [We] Might not need quite as severe an event," said hydrologist Tim Bardsley. 

By the end of September 2016, Tahoe was still below it's natural rim, but as of September 30th, 2017 Tahoe is at 85% of capacity.

Some spots, like around Steamboat Creek and the North Valleys, are more sensitive to flooding than others. 

"It's been pretty heart pressing," said Lemmon Valley resident Scott Novak. 

Like the flooding we saw last January, the strength of the individual storms plays a big role. 

"I would say relative to last year the Truckee system is more sensitive than others just because it has so much more water in those reservoirs," said Bardsley. 

It's not only our waterways that are a little more sensitive to flooding this go around, but also the people impacted by it too. Keep in mind we usually get about two or three atmospheric-river events a storm season, but last year we had a record amount. 

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