Sierra storm doubles snowpack, eases drought pain
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Drought worries are far from over but the weekend storm in the Sierra more than doubled the mountain snowpack and should ensure normal river flows into western Nevada for at least part of the summer.
Federal Water master Chad Blanchard says the storm that dumped up to five feet of snow in the upper elevations was a "game changer."
Blanchard tells the Reno Gazette-Journal Lake Tahoe ended up rising by more than 5 inches, a total of 17.2 billion gallons of water.
That's enough to cover 83 square miles a foot deep -- an area equal to the size of the city of Seattle.
The Tahoe Basin snowpack improved from 25 percent of normal to 53 percent of normal. The Truckee River Basin climbed from 15 to 35 percent.