John Howitt says he'll spend about $100,000 out of his pocket to cover clean up costs and damaged equipment in his medical supply company, Accellence Home Medical. Even though his four wherehouses and offices are just a few feet from the Truckee River, he didn't think he needed flood insurance because after the flood of 1997, he assumed it wouldn't happen again for a long time.
Howitt's losses were also personal. A drawing that belonged to his grandparents, and has been in the family for more than 70 years, was soaked by flood water. But Howitt says things could've been much worse. The flood could have wiped out their oxygen supply equipment, that more than a thousand patients depend on. They were able to save crucial equipment and keep their business running, thanks to a concerned employee who jumped out of bed and drove down in his pajamas because he thought the river may flood. He called the owner, and they quickly began moving equipment to higher ground until the water caught up with them early saturday morning.
Water was moving so fast, their neighbor Steve Young also had a close call as he tried to leave after moving his racing gear to higher ground. He had to drive through four feet of water and worried his truck wouldn't make it. Like many of the tenants in East Reno, Young says he would've have a lot less damage to deal with if he had been warned.