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December 2, 2012
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Winter storm warning in effect for Tahoe Basin; 2+ feet of snow possible

TRUCKEE, Calif. - The Truckee region is currently under both a flood warning and winter storm warning as colder temperatures begin to settle into the area, according to the National Weather Service.

Major flooding is still possible Sunday for the Truckee River near Truckee, according to the NWS flood warning that remains in effect until 10 a.m. Monday.

"Showers will continue into the afternoon, but most of the precipitation is expected to end by tonight, according to NWS. "However, additional flooding is possible in the vicinity of creeks, streams and rivers as water levels will continue to rise into Monday.

"In addition, rock and mud slides and debris flows will continue to be a threat over the next several days."

In preparation for Truckee River flooding that officials say could impact various riverfront homes along Highway 89 and in downtown Truckee, the American Red Cross and local emergency agencies have set up an evacuation center.

The center, located in the Administration Building of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District at 11603 Donner Pass Road, opened at 6 a.m. Sunday and remain open as long as needed, according to the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services. The Red Cross will provide refreshments, and updated storm information will be available at the center.

To get updated recorded information on the center, residents can call 855-212-1866, a toll-free number set up by the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services.

The center will transition to an overnight shelter Sunday night if there is a need. The town of Truckee and the Placer County Office of Emergency Services also are assisting with the evacuation center.

Officials are urging locals to be cautious over the next couple days, and to not drive into areas where the water covers the roadway.

"A flood warning means flooding is occurring or is imminent. Most flood-related deaths occur in automobiles," according to NWS. "Do not attempt to cross water-covered bridges, dips or low water crossings. Never try to cross a flowing stream, even a small one, on foot."

As of 10 a.m. Sunday, NWS also has issued a winter storm warning until 4 p.m. Sunday for the Truckee/Tahoe basin as a cold front moves quickly into the area.

The cold front will drop snow levels below 7,000 feet Sunday morning, with periods of heavy snow into the afternoon. The storm is expected to bring 10 to 16 inches of snow above 7000 feet, with 4 to 8 inches at lake level. Above 8,000 feet, 2 feet or more of snow is expected.

"Heavy snow and gusty winds will create periods of whiteout conditions over the higher passes of the Tahoe Basin," according to NWS. "Motorists should expect hazardous driving conditions at times around the Tahoe Basin into the afternoon."

According to the Truckee Police Department, self-serve sandbags are available at the Truckee Fire Protection District Station 92, at 11473 Donner Pass Road; and the Truckee Ranger Station Parking lot at 10811 Stockrest Spring.

On the North Shore, through Placer County, sandbags are available at the following locations: North Tahoe Fire Station 52, 288 North Shore Blvd., Kings Beach; Placer County Department of Public Works Corporation Yard, 2501 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City; Old Squaw Valley Fire Station, 1810 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley; Northstar Community Services District Corporation Yard, 50 Trimont Lane off Northstar Boulevard near Northstar California; and North Tahoe Fire Station 53, 5425 West Lake Blvd., Homewood.

Storm Information will be updated as information becomes available at the following websites:

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Dec 2, 2012 02:45PM Published Dec 2, 2012 02:44PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.