Washoe County held an open house last weekend to discuss the upcoming winter and how it will impact flooded areas in the North Valleys.
Assistant County Manager David Solaro said that flood mitigation efforts — pumping equipment and flood barrier walls — will stay in place indefinitely as winter approaches.
The county has spent more than $2 million in the North Valleys since last winter. Some are still not back in their homes that were flooded during the winter storms.
Swan Lake has only dropped 3 feet from its high point last winter. North Valleys lakes have no outlet, and evaporation is what is reducing the water level.
“We still have some homes that people aren’t able to go back to because water is impeding going to the house,” Solaro said. “There is one home that still has water in it.”
Some residents are still displaced from their homes and funding for living assistance will end by Jan. 1, 2018. Solaro said the county is providing assistance for those residents.
“We’re here to take care of our citizens,” he added.
Residents that showed up the county event, many wearing black in solidarity with flood victims, carried signs that read, “We’re tired of all the water.”
Kathy Jeter said she wants to see better cooperation from area governments to mitigate flood damage.
“We don’t need flood awareness — we’re flooded,” she said. ” We’re still flooded from last January. Stop the building until (this problem) is fixed.
“I’m not against development. I’m against development before you fix the water problem. All this new development is adding more water to Swan Lake.”
Solaro disputed this notion, however, and said that the amount of water that hit the North Valleys was simply unprecedented.
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Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.