Nev. Flood Victims Start Cleanup

Helicopter and boat rescues near Reno
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2008 1:36 PM CST
A neighborhood near Farm District Road in Fernley, Nev., sits under flood waters on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008, after flooding ravaged the area Saturday. State officals, Red Cross and FEMA assessors surveyed...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Water is receding and residents are returning to their homes today in parts of Nevada and California beset by flooding over the weekend, the Reno Gazette Journal reports. Dozens of people had to be rescued by helicopter and boat after rising flood waters inundated their homes in Fernley, 30 miles east of Reno, after an irrigation canal's earthen levee ruptured on Saturday, producing a 50-foot-wide wall of water.

"In some places, folks had to deal with 8 feet of water," said a local fire chief. "Firefighters were in chest-deep water making rescues." Said one evacuated resident: "It was just mind-blowing to ride a boat through my own neighborhood." The short-term forecast calls for flurries; meanwhile, ski areas are reveling in a bounty of fresh powder measured in feet, not inches.