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Sierra Search and Rescue Gears Up for Potential Truckee River Flooding

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TRUCKEE -- A thick blanket of snow lines the icy water of the Truckee River. It was calm Friday, but things were expected to change drastically.

Darlene Fredrick monitored the river from her front door.

"This snow is hard as rock right now," Fredrick said.

Water surrounded Fredrick's home in the 1997 floods and she had to leave in a hurry.

"Last time my husband had to take us in his bucket of his vehicle," Fredrick said.

This time she's prepared. She got a warning call from the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

"We have warned a few of the residents that are in the probable danger of flooding, including having our deputies go by and putting out warnings at each of the houses on the Truckee River," said Sgt. Dave Hunt with Placer County Sheriff's Office.

No evacuation orders were given, said Hunt. But if the predictions hold true, people may need to get out on their own because rescue crews could get tied up.

"If they believe their area is gonna flood and river is rising, it's time to get out instead of waiting for a rescuer to try and get you out because they may not be able to get to you in the amount of time with other rescues that may be going on," Hunt said.

The Sheriff's Department has search and rescue and dive teams on standby to help those trapped on land or in water.

The Rainbow Lodge tried to prevent flooding from the river by pushing the snow and essentially building a barrier to block the water.

"We'll push the snow up against towards the highway, up against towards the river bank so it's just like a big snow damn," said Randy Kure, general manager of the Rainbow Lodge.

Last month the basement of the Rainbow Lodge in Soda Springs flooded.

"The river will be where we're standing, that's how high it will be," Kure said.

This time general manager Randy Kure is hoping the hard packed Sierra cement will protect the lodge from potential flood damage.

The Sierra is braced for a storm expected to create the highest river levels in over a decade.