Walker River Flood

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DEVASTATING WALKER RIVER FLOOD! In the last couple of days California and Nevada have suffered the worst floods in living memory! Normally the river flows at 650 cubic feet per second, however in the past week the river flowed more than twice that and at a devastating rate that destroyed everything in its path, including lives of two people. The flood also inundated 63,000 acres of land and cost millions in damage and additional costs due to disruptions in travel and business. The Walker River begins at a confluence where the tributaries of the West and the East Walker Rivers meet. The flood was caused by two heavy snowstorms in December last year followed by three sub-tropical rainstorms from Pacific. The third storm, dubbed ‘the pineapple’ from its Hawaiian descent brought warm rain. Subsequently this melted the snowpack in Sierra Nevada below 7,000 feet in elevation and produced heavy rainfall up to 10,000 feet in the mountains, contributing to run-off. The run-off from higher elevation combined with melt water from lower elevation was so forceful it broke levees and caused one of the most damaging floods the region has ever seen. The West Walker River caused extensive damage in Topaz, Coleville, California, Wellington and Nevada. It’s estimated that twelve miles of US Highway 395 have been destroyed and are going to be closed for around seven months! In Yerington and in the Mason Valley nearly 500 homes have been damaged and public and private property damaged substantially. Floodwaters deposited debris on Farmland and Damaged irrigation gates, ditches and canals. The cost of repairs to the Walker river irrigation facilities are estimated at $6.4 million with damaged to farmland in Mason Valley at $19.5 million. Before the flood devastated many areas, flood warnings were issues for areas at risk. However people didn’t see the risk for example the

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