Donner Lake fills fast |

Donner Lake fills fast

Sierra Sun staff reports

Photo by Ari Steffen/Sierra SunDonner Lake's maximum storage level is 5,935.8 feet. As of Thursday morning it stood at 5,932.4.

The New Year’s weekend storm dumped nearly four feet of water into Donner Lake between last Friday and Saturday.

“The lake came up quite a bit in a short period,” said Bill Hauck, of the Truckee Meadows Water Authority, the agency that controls flows coming out of the lake.

Donner Lake’s maximum storage level is 5,935.8 feet, Hauck said. As of Thursday morning it stood at 5,932.4. The authority will continue to keep open some of the flood gates at the lake’s dam and won’t begin storing water until April, Hauck said.

During the weekend storm, Hauck said all the flood gates were open to manage the rising lake, which rose 3.75 feet.

“Donner Lake responds real quickly to precipitation events. It’s real flashy,” he said. “You have real steep topography, and when the ground is saturated and the precip is real heavy, it has nowhere to go but runoff into the lake.”

As for the possibility of more rain, the weekend’s forecast is a mixed bag. According to the National Weather Service in Reno, Friday night could see a slight chance of showers with the snow level at 7,500 feet.

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Saturday will see partly cloudy skies with a slight chance of showers and snow levels at 6,500 feet. Sunday is forecast to be partly cloudy and windy with a chance of snow.