"We could see ash and mud and dirt and boulders and even some
dead trees" slide down slopes made bare by the fire, National
Weather Service meteorologist Brian Brong said.
In the weeks since the July 14-15 fire, crews have installed
erosion-control devices to prevent mudslides and other erosion
problems in the 8,700-acre burn area.
The first test could be coming a little earlier than hoped for,
acknowledged Andy Burnham, development services director for Carson City.
"We've got to deal with whatever is thrown at us," Burnham said. Beginning Thursday afternoon,
backhoes and other equipment were being positioned in case they are
needed. Sandbags have also been set up in places.
Until Thursday, no rain had fallen in Northern Nevada this
month, and July was mostly dry, with the exception of some
thunderstorms that dropped heavy rain in Palomino Valley and
Stagecoach on July 21, officials said.
In Carson City, crews have stockpiled sandbags in nine locations
along the base of the Carson range for residents to use while
prison crews finish digging flood diversion channels above the
water treatment plant this week.
Sandbags also are in place along the hill behind the Washoe
Tribe's Carson Colony.
Burnham told the Nevada Appeal that if water and debris overflow
from the channels, it will be directed down roads instead of
flowing directly into structures.
If the flood watch turns into a flood warning, meaning that
flooding is imminent, Burnham said development services staff will
go to key locations across the city's west side.
"Then if they need to, they'll start calling people out from
our offices to make decisions," he said.