USGS - science for a changing world

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

January 1886

Rain Event

No recorded precipitation is available. Information is anecdotal. Heavy warm rain and mild temperatures melted the early Sierra Nevada snowpack, causing extensive flooding. A winter storm turned from light rain on January 20, 1886, to the heaviest rainstorm observed since the 1861-1862 and the 1867-1868 floods. Rains continued to the afternoon of January 24 (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1973; 1977). Streams that had headwaters on the eastern side of Carson Valley in the Carson Range, were flowing into floodwaters in Carson Valley. By the morning of January 24, Carson Valley had the appearance of an inland sea, extending from about half of a mile east of Genoa eastward to Cradlebaugh road. Streets and commercial structures in Genoa were severely damaged, along with farms in Carson Valley, and the streets of Carson City were damaged as they became flowing rivers of water. The business district of Empire was flooded, and at Dayton and downstream,the Carson and Colorado Railroad sustained several track washouts.

Selected Streamflow Peaks

No hydrologic data available.


No photos available.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Nevada Water Science Center Web Team
Page Last Modified: October 17, 2013