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Nevada Water Science Center

Nevada Flood Chronology


Contact Information

Toby Welborn
Phone: (775) 887-7671


Mailing Address
Nevada Water Science Center
2730 N. Deer Run Rd.
Carson City, NV 89701

Nevada Water Science Center Home Page



Carson River Basin

December 1955

Rain/Rain-on-Snow Event

During an unseasonably warm period, several days of intense rainstorms partially melted the snowpack. Ten to 13 inches of rain fell in the headwater basin and the snow level reached 8,500 feet in elevation. The National Weather Service Minden precipitation gage (4,709 ft) recorded over 6 inches of rain during the storm period. Damage caused by flooding was severe and included damages to bridges, roads, diversion structures, agricultural land, residences, and loss of livestock. More than 16,000 acres were flooded in Carson Valley, about the same amount as in 1997, and many families were forced to move out when their homes were isolated and flooded. Lutheran Bridge on the East Fork Carson River in Carson Valley collapsed on December 23. Locals nicknamed the December 1955 flood the "Christmas flood."

Selected Streamflow Peaks

Site ID Gaging Station Peak (cubic feet per second)
10309000 East Fork Carson River near Gardnerville, Nev. 17,600
10310000 West Fork Carson River at Woodfords, Calif. 4,810
10311000 Carson River near Carson City, Nev. 30,000
10312000 Carson River at Fort Churchill, Nev. 11,000



Aerial view of Carson Valley (30 second video clip).

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Page Last Modified: January 3, 2014