The National Weather Service has forecast a series of storms that will continue to bring snow and rain to our region into next week. Washoe County Community Services Department (CSD) has been preparing for winter weather and is sharing the following update.
Washoe311 is the information resource center for Washoe County and has received numerous calls for snowplows, power failures, tree debris, and localized flooding. While many service requests are outside the jurisdiction of Washoe County, Washoe311 staff provides answers and connects citizens to the appropriate resources. The Washoe311 webpage has current contact information for NV Energy, Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), City of Reno, City of Sparks, and other regional partners.
Snow removal equipment is staged at various locations around the county. Crews begin clearing roads around 4 a.m. before the morning commute, and finish around 7 p.m. Route information can be found here. (JOSH: Insert image of route priority descriptions)
For residents in the Incline Village/Crystal Bay area, Washoe County offers an online “Where’s My Plow?” tool that provides real-time locations of snowplows.
The current series of storms is carrying a lot of moisture, making the snow extremely wet and heavy. Plow drivers try to move it out of the way of driveways, but this is not always possible. Snow berms are to be expected.
Residents can call to report a problem area at 775-328-2180 or submit a work request online.
City of Reno snow removal information can be found here.
City of Sparks snow removal information can be found here.
Drainage and Flooding
As the snow level varies, snow melt can cause localized flooding. CSD crews have been monitoring known hot spots for flooding. They are inspecting drainage and culverts and have staged equipment nearby for immediate activation if necessary.
“Flooding is a natural part of heavy precipitation events. Our job is to protect infrastructure and make sure that residents can get to work, to school, and on with their everyday lives,” Dwayne Smith, Washoe County Division Director of Engineering, said. “We have to expect flooding; we can’t control it, but we can respond to it.”
Residents can help by reporting clogged drainage areas and by removing their own debris and garbage from low-lying areas. To report a drainage problem needing immediate assistance after business hours, call 775-328-2180. For non-immediate issues, call Washoe311 at 3-1-1 or 775-328-2003 or submit a work request online.
Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County have established sandbag locations. CSD has staged equipment in Washoe Valley, Toll Road, North Valleys, Silver Knolls, Lemmon Valley, Highland Ranch, and Longley Lane. The public is reminded to bring their own shovels to fill the supplied bags. (JOSH: If you want to use the image of sandbag locations, then just take this table out)
Those who may be experiencing homelessness or need immediate shelter can go to the Nevada Cares Campus, 1800 Threlkel Street, Reno. Case workers may be able to provide resources for temporary housing or other care, and the emergency shelter has more than 600 beds with 56 emergency overflow cots as well. There is a warming center that is available 24/7 that serves lunch and dinner every day. Learn more about the Nevada Cares Campus and view the availability of beds and resources here.
Heavy snow can damage trees, which in turn can damage power lines. If you suspect damage to a power line, do not go anywhere near it. Report downed power lines to 9-1-1 and NV Energy’s emergency line: 775-834-4100.
NV Energy has information on how to prepare for possible power outages here. Residents can also report street light issues here.
Three area hotels are offering reduced room rates and waived resort fees for those who are without power for extended periods of time. Please call The Row, the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, or the Peppermill Reno for details.
To report traffic signal issues, call 775-335-7623.
The National Weather Service is cautioning against unnecessary travel, particularly in the Lake Tahoe and Sierra Nevada areas. Check the Nevada Department of Transportation roads webcams or call 1-877-NV-ROADS for real-time road conditions and be prepared for possible delays.