Rain and snow in the forecast
Despite warm weather over the weekend, winter is far from over. Beginning this morning, storms are expected to hit Lake Tahoe throughout the week, possibly resembling those that flooded the region over last New Year’s holiday weekend.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch Sunday for Monday that may bring up to 3 inches of rain to the South Shore.
“The rain could get heavy, with the potential of small-stream flooding,” weather service meteorologist Tom Cylke said. “It’s a tough call. We’re unsure at this point how much rain will turn to snow.”
A colder system is predicted to bring up to 6 inches of snow at lake level and possibly 2 feet above 8,000 feet when it arrives Tuesday. There’s a short break on Wednesday, but another system is expected to move in Thursday and into Friday.
“It’s going to be a busy week. There’s no long-term drying period seen in the forecast,” Cylke said.
Although much of the concern lies in Northern Nevada cities like Carson City and Reno, the wet storms could produce the type of flooding that gave El Dorado and Douglas counties federal and state disaster designations.
Businesses and residents remember all too well the deluge from the holiday storms. El Dorado County officials estimate the damage to be about $9 million, with much of it along the West Slope. At Lake Tahoe, trees and power poles blew down, while ponds and rivers flowed over streets.
“We don’t want to deal with that again,” Darrell Brown of Mulligans Irish Pub and Restaurant said. He’ll be keeping an eye on any flooding. Over New Year’s, the flood water damaged the restaurant, Shannon’s Day Spa, Chevy’s Fresh Mex Restaurant and Super 8 Motel.
Reshelle Smith, who lives in the neighborhood on Bill Avenue behind the motel, recalled how a huge puddle formed on the street outside her home.
“I looked down (the road) and saw it filled almost the full length of the street,” she said.
Smith left to work at 6:45 a.m. on Dec. 31, but she wondered if her sedan would make it through the stream that eventually took down a section of her neighbor’s fence.
“I hoped my car wouldn’t cut out,” she said.
Some areas of town near permanent streams were completely flooded, including along Trout Creek.
Roxanne Bruce, who was unaware of the storm watch, said she’s thankful her home on O’Malley Drive is up high from the meadow.
“This picture blows my mind,” she said of a photo of the meadow with her son Jade that her neighbor snapped over the New Year’s weekend. Bruce turned to her son. “You need to go get your sled, honey.”
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