Nevada levee break strands 3,500 |

Nevada levee break strands 3,500

FERNLEY, Nev. ” A canal ruptured early Saturday after heavy rainfall, pouring 3 feet of near-freezing water into about 800 homes and stranding about 3,500 people, authorities said.

A 30-foot-long section of the Truckee Canal broke shortly before 5 a.m. in the desert agricultural town east of Reno, officials said.

No injuries were reported.

Water was 3 to 4 feet deep in parts of the town, resident Mariana Hicks told CNN.

The area had gotten heavy rain on Friday as a storm pummeled the West Coast, raising a threat of mud slides and flooding in California, blacking out thousands of customers and blanketing the Sierra Nevada range with deep snow.

Residents were being taken by 10 school buses to a local shelter, and bulldozers were being brought in to shore up the levee, said Chuck Allen of the Nevada Department of Public Safety.

Helicopters also were being used, including two from the nearby Naval Air Station Fallon, authorities reported.

The break occurred in freezing weather. “Coupled that with cold water, folks have just woken up to a terrible event,” Allen told CNN.

“Our street was flooded, water to the edge of our driveway and rising quickly … there’s some cars there, the water’s up to the doors,” resident Bill Sanchez said.

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