"We're preparing for the worst but hoping for the best," Combs said.
Combs lives right along the Truckee River in Truckee, where there's a flood watch in place.
"I don't expect tomorrow's flood to be quite as big as '97 just because Lake Tahoe's not full right now, and in '97 it was," Combs said.
While many are bracing for the storm to come, others were dealing with the weather that's already here.
"It's was a lot of water. Some spots where it's pooling and you can slide out," said Paul Enos of Newcastle.
The rapid snow melt also created some localized spots of thick fog for drivers to contend with, and it turned all the fresh powder skiers had been enjoying into snow slush.
"Just rainy...wet and sticky," Enos said. "We made it about two hours before we called it."
Mountains of snow have turned to flood water by rain; that has cities and citizens downstream keeping a watchful eye.
Katie Kelly comes skiing in Truckee frequently from San Francisco. She says last weekend's thick blanket of fresh snow was nowhere to be seen today.
This system is causing concern for more than just skiers coming downhill. All that snow will be coming downhill too, in the form of water, and flooding is expected.
It will start in Truckee, where there is a flood warning and where riverside residents like Paul Combs are preparing for a wild couple of days.
Combs says he thinks his house is high enough above the flood plain to stay dry this time. However, he knows there's good chance not all his neighbors along the Truckee River will be so lucky.