The smallest crowd in 20 years attends Reno’s New Year’s event |

The smallest crowd in 20 years attends Reno’s New Year’s event

RENO (AP) – Relatively tame crowds greeted the new year in the Reno-Tahoe area after the region’s worst flooding since the New Year’s Day 1997 flood, authorities said.

In Reno, police estimate only 5,000 to 7,000 celebrants joined Mayor Bob Cashell in the countdown to 2006. Officers called it the smallest throng in nearly 20 years.

“No one could get in and out because of road closures and floods everywhere,” Reno police Sgt. Jack Munns said.

Officials also attributed the smaller crowd to cancellation of the city’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show after the flooding.

The show had been rescheduled for Sunday night, but was scrapped again after a new storm brought more rain and high winds to Reno.

In Reno, 27 people were booked into the Washoe County Jail on New Year’s Eve, Washoe County Sheriff Dennis Balaam said.

Heavy snow cut down on New Year’s crowds last year. Only about 15,000 to 20,000 people gathered at Stateline, well down from the previous year’s crowd of 50,000.

In Reno, last year’s crowd also was much smaller than the previous year when 50,000 celebrants packed the downtown.

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