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Posted on: March 8, 2023

High-flow In Carson River Due To Water Releases from Lahontan Reservoir

Sandbag filling on March 7

With the promise of an atmospheric river weather event this weekend, the Bureau of Reclamation and TCID are ramping up more water releases out of Lahontan Reservoir this week.  Flows in the Carson River channel and main canals below the dam will be similar to what was seen in 2017 with flows running at approximately 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Flows are expected to reach this level by March 12.  The releases are controlled by gates at Lahontan Dam and Diversion Dam.  

The volume of snow in the Sierra Nevada has caused the City of Fallon, Churchill County and TCID to continue precautionary preparations for elevated water levels in the Carson River. Earlier this week, TCID started releasing water from Lahontan Reservoir to create extra space for incoming snowmelt flows. The releases from Lahontan will put high water in the Carson River, through the V-line weir and in the irrigation canals. 

For your safety, please stay clear of high flowing water in any waterway.

Preventative measures

If residents are in an area that experienced high water in 2017, you may see similar happenings in the coming days. Talk to your neighbors to learn what your neighborhood witnessed six years ago.

Water in crawl spaces will most likely be a result of groundwater rising due to current saturation levels along the river. Churchill County Building Official Marie Henson recommends opening crawl spaces and home vents to allow air to circulate under your home. This will help dry out any dampness, prevent mold from forming and help preserve the home. 

Macari Lane at the point where it crosses the Big Dig is closed until further notice. 

Sandbags available

Pre-filled sandbags are available for pickup on today, March 8 through Friday, March 10 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day at 485 Miners Road just south of the Rafter 3C Arena. Moving forward, pre-filled sandbags will be available for pick-up Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Three thousand bags were filled on March 7, with crews continuing to fill more each day. 

Citizens along the river who believe they may need sandbags can call Parks & Recreation at (775)423-7733 to reserve sandbags and arrange pickup. 

2017 infrastructure in place

As a reminder, this community built the V-line weir and the Big Dig ditch in 2017 to improve the safety of the community from flooding. These structures are in good working order and will be utilized to help maximize the volume of water needed to be released from the Lahontan Reservoir. 

Careful planning is done on an ongoing basis to release only what is needed to keep the community safe while also reserving water for the upcoming irrigation season and future seasons. The Churchill County Emergency Operations Center will continue to provide updates via websites and social media. We appreciate your continued cooperation and support as we work diligently to protect our communities.  

Photo: City of Fallon and Churchill County staff fill sandbags on March 7.

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