County making flood preparations

Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

As Lyon County continues to recover from the January and February flood event it continues to plan for the upcoming spring and summer runoff.

Lyon County officials are planning ahead for the likelihood of flooding, particularly along the Walker and Carson rivers.

County manager Jeff Page said there is an estimated 640,000 acre feet, or 208 billion gallons, of water on the Walker Basin and 736,000 acre feet, or 239 billion gallons, of water on the Carson Basin.


“This concerns County and State officials with what the spring and summer will bring as far as flooding,” Page said

Page said local governments and state agencies having been working to prepare for flooding throughout the region. To date these entities have:

  • Conducted a five-county table top exercise
  • Conducted a number of planning meetings to ensure readiness
  • Implemented a public awareness campaign
  • Continued to clean drainages and performed debris removal to ensure water flow.
  • Purchased sandbags and sand for public use as well as government use.
  • Begun sandbagging utilities and key infrastructure
  • Prioritized evacuation measures and identified special needs populations to ensure those people are properly protected
  • Conducted reconnaissance of potential weak points along the rivers and implemented measures to enhance the stability of those weak points

Page says that the local governments of Lyon County are working cooperatively to prepare for flooding and to help reduce the impact of flooding. He says the people need to start planning for their families and begin playing the “what if” game.

He explains that the public should now begin by ensuring that they have two weeks’ worth of food, water, medications, pet food, etc. If they live in an area prone to flooding they should begin protective measures such as:

  • Sandbagging the low points of their homes and outbuildings
  • Securing anything that could float away
  • Ensuring they have sufficient propane for two weeks (if they don’t have natural gas)
  • Keeping vehicles fueled up
  • Protecting well heads from flood water
  • Strapping down their propane tanks to prevent them from floating away
  • Purchasing flood insurance
  •  Developing a communications plan to ensure every person in the home knows what to do in an emergency.
  • Develop a plan to evacuate their livestock to higher ground.
  • Preparing a “Go bag” in the event they have to evacuate

“We are planning for worst case,” Page said.

He hopes that this spring and summer will be just an extremely high water year but “we never know what Mother Nature is going to bring,” he added.

Page said he is also concerned about regional issues such as U.S. 95 between Schurz and Fallon being closed to flooding and the traffic that will be heading through Lyon County, and to make matters worse, what happens to that traffic if Miller Lane in Mason Valley has to be closed due to flooding. Page said they are in discussions with State agencies now planning for those types of events.

Page is planning a community town hall with state and local agencies to brief the public and answer any questions residents may have, likely the first week of May.

Page has provided the following web links to assist the public with preparing for flooding:

Propane Tank Safety

How to properly sandbag

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