Snow Runoff Floods Serene Lakes Community, Closes Roads

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SERENE LAKES — A river of snow runoff usually flows beneath several feet of snow in Serene Lakes but instead Wednesday, it caused flooding and affected around 500 houses.

Road closures to the area had residents separated from the rest of the world.

Karen Plank says flooding in her Serene Lakes neighborhood has happened twice before in the 20 years she’s lived there.

“With our snowpack and how much snow we’ve had, the water content,” Plank said.

It was urgent work involving heavy equipment next to the train tracks. The Amtrak lines had to be shut down at around noon. It reopened sometime after 7 p.m.

“We’re clearing the ice dam at the train tracks,” said Nevada County Sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Saunders. “That way we’ll free up room for the water to come once we break the ice dam up here.”

Truckee Fire lent a hand by blowing water from their fire cannon on top of the truck to help bring down the ice dam that had formed.

“It’s the way this community up here works. Everybody works together really good,” Sauders said.

Jeanine and Bob Landsinger live four bridges down from the area.

“That’s why we came up here to see what was going on because once they clear this and all the water goes down, we’re concerned that our bridges are gonna wash out,” Jeanine Landsinger said.

“I’m not too worried about this particular moment. I’m worried about bigger moments a month from now or six weeks from now or something like that when it really starts running and the river fills up,” the Landsingers said.

The sergeant expects the area to reopen first thing Thursday morning.

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