By Macy Jenkins


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) — South Lake Tahoe is bracing for a winter storm but some are concerned heavy rain will bring flooding to certain neighborhoods.

“Just one block up, I’ve noticed that gathers water a lot,” said Kevin Hennessee, who lives on Colorado Avenue.

First came the wind and now locals are wondering what’s next.

“Are you worried about flooding?” asked CBS13’s Macy Jenkins.

“Well, If it comes in as snow, not really,” said Carol Colford. “But if it comes in as rain, then yes we will be flooding because there’s just no place for it to go.”

One look at the streets around town and you’ll be asking one question: ‘where are the drains?’

“The issue right now is that most of the drains are probably covered with snow and ice,” said Battalion Fire Chief Karl Koeppen, South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.

He told CBS13 the public works department has been scrambling to clear the drains before the rain but likely won’t get to all of them. And in that case, flooding is a real possibility.

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“The water is going to find the path of least resistance, which is down the road, into people’s driveways, possibly into their homes.”

And after 29 years of living in the area, Colford knows just which homes will be affected.

“People that have the low grounds are going to get flooded like they did a couple years ago,” she said.

Residents living on Colorado Court can take comfort in the fact that there is a ground pump in their area. If the rain gets heavy, the extra water will flow into a nearby meadow.

Still, Kevin Hennessee can’t imagine his new home flooding just three months after moving into the neighborhood.

“That’d be kind of crazy,” he said. “Wouldn’t be a good thing!”

He told CBS13 he’s making sure he doesn’t get caught unprepared.

“Definitely we’ve been blowing and pushing all the snow away from like the windows and the sliding glass doors,” Hennessee said.

And while the fire department encourages everyone to pick up sandbags, some homeowners aren’t too worried about their homes this time around.

“My house has never flooded so I’m one of the lucky ones,” Colford said.

Chief Koeppen said fire crews will be on the lookout for flooding over the next few days. But for everyone’s sake, he hopes this storm brings nothing but snow to their streets.

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