24 hours in Reno — Fire, Flood, Freeze

Reno’s record-breaking winter drought ended this week in horrendous events — and wonderful examples of community caring.

A bout of gale-force winds whipped through the area, reaching well over 50-mph in the valleys. An elderly man cleaning out his fireplace apparently dumped his still-warm ashes outside — sparking the blaze that eventually consumed more than 3,200 acres and destroying at least 26 homes. 

At 1:30 p.m. Thursday I left my home office for an in-town appointment, with no idea there was a fire.  I turned the corner to see the image posted here. The fire started about 10 miles south of here — and generated this much smoke within 30 minutes of ignition.  It grew to 3,200 acres. We saw flames along ridges less than 2 miles from our home.  We saw lines of flames and huge flare ups. The wind was blowing it westward uphill toward the Sierras.  Our neighborhood was never threatened.

We heard so many stories of neighbors helping neighbors — rescuing pets, loading horses into trailers, using hoses to try to douse/wet down property. The community spirit, cooperation among first responders and our neighbors underscores why Reno is such a great place to live.  The Reno Gazette-Journal has many terrific photos and the latest news on this event.

Friday night torrential rains moved in — at one point coming down with such force it sounded, and looked like someone was spraying our south windows with a power hose.  Warnings of flash floods were posted. Now, Saturday morning we have snow mixed with freezing rain on the valley floor — with more than 21 inches at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe just a few miles west of my house.  

The drought is over.

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