Rockslide Anniversary Remembered

By: Jennifer Rogers
By: Jennifer Rogers

Exactly twenty years ago to the day a landslide raced down the east slide of a Washoe Valley mountain destroying five homes. That's why Slide Mountain got it's name.

I met with emergency workers and residents who say it's a day they will never forget.

Says firefighter Wayne Cirone: "Heard the page go out for the call and responded to Bower Station."

"All this area was covered with rocks, " says Patricia Biggs.

Witnesses say it happened right around noon on May 30, 1983. An avalanche high up on Slide Mountain slid into upper Price Lake. Rocks and dirt entered the lake with such force it pushed the water out, forcing Lower Price Lake to overflow creating a landslide.

The water raced down the mountain collecting everything in it's path. The slide caused huge rocks to folw into the valley below across the old highway and all the way down to 395.

Those rocks not only destroyed homes but also took a life.

"There was one fatality and several people were missing for short periods of time," Cirone says.

Once everyone was found, crews looked around to see millions of dollars worth of damage.

Today there is a completely different scene. Where homes were destroyed - new ones have been rebuilt.

Some residents believe the wrath of Mother Nature is over, but others arn't so optimistic.

"Yes. It's always got the potential to slide," Cirone says.

While it might not happen anytime soon, experts say Slide Mountain will Slide again.

Hydrologists say two avalances have occured on Slide Mountain...the first happened in the late 1800's.


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