Hundreds of Homes Evacuated in Reno Flood

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SPARKS, Nev. (AP) — A wet winter storm in the Sierra has triggered mudslides closing parts of major highways north and west of Lake Tahoe, and shut down dozens of roads in the Reno-Tahoe area where flooding has forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

More than 1,000 residents voluntarily evacuated one south Reno neighborhood where drainage ditches started overflowing early Sunday afternoon.

All westbound lanes of Interstate 80 near Donner Lake west of Truckee, California, were closed indefinitely Sunday night because of a large mudslide. The westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 50 near Kyburz also were blocked. Highway 50 has since reopened.

Washoe County spokeswoman Nancy Leuenhagen said nearly 400 dwellings had been evacuated in the Reno area and hundreds of people were expected to be housed overnight in emergency shelters.

Reno police have closed all bridges crossing the Truckee River in the downtown casino district.

Nearly 5 inches of rain has fallen in the Galena Creek area southwest of Reno and more than 4 inches north of town.

The worst is expected during the Monday morning commute along the I-80 corridor between Reno and Sparks, where the Truckee River is expected to crest about 10 feet above flood stage.

The University of Nevada, Reno and all area schools canceled classes Monday. Gov. Brian Sandoval is urging all non-essential state employees impacted by the flood to stay home.