Wind, snow may make Reno-area travel hazardous; mudslides possible in burn scars

Flash flooding graphic
Flash flooding graphic(Associated Press)
Published: Oct. 23, 2021 at 5:45 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -A wet tropical jet stream is bringing an atmospheric river over the Sierra through Tuesday morning.

The snow level could drop to the foothill areas of the Truckee Meadows by Monday morning and travel through the Sierra could be difficult.

Slick roads and blowing snow could be a problem for travelers. Winds could reach 35 mph in western Nevada with gusts to 60 mph.

The National Weather Service is also warning of possible flash floods and mudslides in burn scars, including the Dixie Fire and the Caldor Fire.

The U.S. Forest Service said the Grizzly Flats area of Eldorado County and above U.S. 50 could be at the greatest risk for debris flow because the soil there is repelling water instead of absorbing it. Some of that could be from a high-intensity fire causing plants to form a waxy substance around soil.

In 2018 in Southern California, there was a similar situation with the Thomas Fire and the heavy rains caused devastating debris flow, the Forest Service said.

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office said as much as 10 inches of rain is expected in some areas of the Dixie Fire and there is a high likelihood there will be a flash flood or debris flows in portions of the Dixie Fire burn scar. People in areas of the North Complex and Beckwourth Complex burn scars are also at risk.

If it appears flash flooding or debris flows are imminent, people should not wait for an evacuation order to leave and should report it to 911. “If you see any evidence of soil instability in your area don’t try to evacuate, instead move to the second floor of your home,” PCSO said.

The chief areas of concern in Plumas County are Greenville, Indian Valley, Genesee Valley, the Feather River Canyon and Quincy La Porte Road, PCSO said. Other areas could also be affected.

People who evacuate should move to high ground.

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