Floods in Nevada

Science Center Objects

For more than 100 years, the USGS has played a critical role in reducing flood losses by operating a nationwide streamgage network that monitors the water level and flow of the Nation's rivers and streams. Through satellite and computer technology, streamgages transmit real-time information, which the National Weather Service (NWS) uses to issue flood warnings.

Streamgages provide long-term data that scientists need to better understand floods and to define flood-prone areas as well. Streamgage data also help in designing structures resilient to flooding and are the basis for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Flood Insurance program, the only Federal insurance program for natural hazards.


Carson River Basin || Truckee River Basin || Walker River Basin || Humboldt River Basin

Peak Streamflow Data



Road damage from October 2015 flood at Scotty's Castle, Death Valley, CA

Road damage from the October 2015 flood (Public domain.)

Delineation of Flood-Inundation Areas in Grapevine Canyon near Scotty’s Castle, Death Valley National Park, California

On October 18, 2015 an intense, nearly stationary, thunderstorm triggered flooding in Grapevine Canyon. Grapevine Canyon Road, power and water infrastructure, and several buildings at Scotty’s Castle were damaged by the flood water, necessitating closure of the area to the public. In response to the flood event, the National Park Service requested the USGS Nevada Water Science Center perform a channel survey and hydraulic computation of peak flow for the event and update the information on current channel conditions to delineate the flood-inundation area of Grapevine Canyon and Tie Canyon near Scotty’s Castle.




Flood tracking chart for USGS gaging station 10311000 Carson River near Carson City, Nevada

Flood tracking chart for USGS gaging station 10311000 Carson River near Carson City, Nevada.(Public domain.)

WaterWatch is a national USGS web site that provides streamgage-based maps that show the location of more than 3,000 long-term (30 years or more) USGS streamgages; use colors to represent streamflow conditions compared to historical streamflow; feature a point-and-click interface allowing users to retrieve graphs of stream stage (water elevation) and flow; and highlight locations where extreme hydrologic events, such as floods and droughts, are occurring

One of the tools from the site is the flood tracking chart builder. This site will build a chart of current stage, recent maximum stage, highest recorded peak stages, and National Weather Service flood stage for any USGS gaging station.


USGS Information on El Nino

A collection of information and data about El Nino and its effects: floods, landslides, coastal hazards, and climate.



National Weather Service Flood Information

The National Weather Service provides several hydrology products for determining conditions in a specific area.

FEMA Flood Map Service Center

The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.