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Truckee Riverbank Residents Prepare For Possible Flood

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TRUCKEE (CBS13) – The bank of the Truckee River was moving quickly Friday night. Although it wasn’t near a flood stage, by Sunday morning, the river may rise four feet.

Already flowing at a rapid pace, more relentless rain is forecast to turn part of the Truckee River into a danger zone.

“The roar of the river becomes intense like a jet engine,” said Dick Howell.

He has a home on the river’s edge. Howell has already cleared the outdoor furniture that he can move to higher ground, and is bracing for possible property damage to what he can’t move.

“The water just comes in here and it’s unpredictable. You don’t know where it’s going to end up,” he said. “These are all my neighbors. I’m very worried for them and I’m worried for myself.”

The National Weather Service and Truckee police are warning Howell and his neighbors of a major flood, with water cresting four feet above flood stage by Sunday morning.

“We’re kind of calculating, ‘okay what’s the worst that could happen and are we going to be okay?’ ” said Debbie Kalan, who also lives along the river.

“Flood insurance is for what you hope never happens,” her husband Mike said.

However, water isn’t the only worry. Uprooted trees from soggy soil are also a threat to homes.

“They become projectiles and come charging down the river at your house. It’s very scary,” said Howell.

Massive toppled trees can cause instant chaos on an overflowing river by creating logjams, which can change the course of the river.

“There’s no way to predict it or do something about it,” said Mike.

It may be a scenic spot to own a home; but this weekend, it could also become unsafe.

Those living in the area are taking the flood warning very seriously, and are not too happy about having a front row seat for all the action.

A National Weather Service warning compared the possible Truckee River flood impact to a 1955 flood that left much of Reno underwater, but downgraded its comparison to a 1950 storm that damaged buildings and backyards of homes close to the river.

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