RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Reno Fire Department (RFD) is asking people to stay away from the Truckee River for the time being. During Friday’s atmospheric river, the Truckee was flowing nearly seven times faster than it normally would during this time of year.
The speed is not the only river danger; the water is extremely cold as most of it is freshly melted snow off the mountains. The speed and temperature, combined with debris in the river, makes for potentially deadly conditions.
"If a member of the public were to fall in the river when it's flowing this quickly, by the time, assuming it was witnessed and somebody called 911 immediately, by the time those resources are deployed, and in our case, it's really, we're talking 4 to 5 minutes, you're already going to be swept away,” Reno Fire Chief Dave Cochran said.
Though the RFD Water Entry Teams are highly skilled and practicing constantly, staying away from the river is the best way to ensure safety during conditions like these.
“We expect it to flow like this, probably, for most of the summer,” Cochran said. "If conditions are as expected, river recreation will be out of the question this summer as it will be too unsafe."