20 Years Later, Memories Of New Year’s Flood Hold Strong (VIDEO)

Staff Reports · 8 min read

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. — The New Year’s Flood of 1997 was 20 years ago Sunday.

Some of our readers sent in their memories of the event:

“I remember spending most the night sandbagging the Carson River just west of Douglas High School and being told that Ranchos residents needed to head home as all of the bridges over the Carson were to be closed. I followed a duece and half over Lutheran Bridge into the Ranchos. In the Ranchos we were cut off, without power for several days. We would walk down to the golf course where the Carson River had reclaimed its old course putting the golf course and homes under 3-4 feet of water. The National Guard was using helicopters to bring milk, bread and other perishables into the IGA store (where the bowling alley now sits). Folks throughout the Ranchos were emptying out their freezers, spawning block parties impromptu. I also remember the aftermath with US395 being closed through the Walker River Canyon. It so changed travel plans that Highways 108 & 4 had almost no traffic leaving those highways to be almost a private race track for those of us with a motorcycle. I still have a copy of VCR tape made of the flood that I need to get transferred to DVD.” — Pat Schmid

“I remember it!! I lived in Bridgeport and went to Coleville High School. The canyon between Bridgeport and Coleville was mostly washed out and we had to spend 3 hours a day on a bus going to and from school. It was a long five months before the canyon was open again.” — Adrienne Bilotta

“I remember it well. I was so glad I didn’t drop our daughter off at the babysitter that morning or she would have gotten stuck in the Ranchos overnight.”– Heather Nelson

I lived on Fairway when it happened. Was 17 at the time. Unreal clean up effort!” — D.J. Therres

“Lived on Birdie Ct. was displaced, FEMA was wonderful on relocating us, as the house slid off its foundation. Stressful times, but it worked out.” —  Kathy Macellari Solis

“Long lines at 7-11 Tillman gas pumps. So everyone could drive the mile radius on a full tank?” — Cirra Woods

“I remember coming from Reno with a small crew to help the Gardnerville cable company. We had to dismantle the entire head end and move all the electronics to a old church on Main St. We had to reassemble everything and get the cable TV service back online. We had to go through Tahoe and down Kingsbury and weave our way through the valley to get into Gardnerville. The office was being washed out from the river rising.” — Chris Fisher

Here is some video footage, posted by the Carson Valley Inn, John T. Humphrey and R.O. Anderson Engineering from the flooding which had widespread impact upon the Valley, and much of Western Nevada:


If you have pictures, videos, or memories to share, feel free to e-mail joey@carsonvalleytimes.com or post to our Facebook page.

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