Driving and Flash Floods

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

The city declared a local level of emergency at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon, allowing the city manager the ability to get any crews out and making repairs.
After two serious thunderstorms dumping water in the Sparks area within the last two months, the city is trying to get ready for the next downpour.
But, are you ready... because John Martini, the Sparks Engineer Manager, says the roads might not be what you would expect.
"Our storm drain systems are typically overwhelmed and the streets are actually designed to take the water that can't get in the storm drains. So, if you're driving on the roads and you get to a point where you're uncomfortable about going through an intersection, or going up a road or hillside, due to the amount of water.... pull over, turn on you hazards and wait."
Deciding where to wait can also be crucial.
They advise staying away from open channels or drainage lines, because the worst case scenario could sweep you and your car off the road.
"Intersections are always a problem. Water tends to meet water at intersections as all the streets are flowing. They can tend to get deeper than the normal, local street."
When you see the water getting deeper than normal and spilling out of a drainage ditch, you can call the activated emergency operations center for the city of Sparks at 353-1507.
But, they don't want excess calls about the down-pour, unless it is threatening you, your home, or other drivers.... and they advise you stay out of the water.
"The water may not be deep. It may not look very dangerous. But, it's moving extremely quickly and it's carrying rocks and sticks and dirt with it and it can sweep you away rather quickly and put your life at risk."
City officials say almost all of the repairs will be done either by tonight or tomorrow... preparing the roads and neighborhoods for the next batch of rain to come this way.


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