County doubles down on disaster declaration

In the weeks following the July 20 flooding in northern Carson Valley, Douglas County was criticized for not seeking a disaster declaration.

On Thursday, officials are scheduled to approve two more emergency declarations, one for the Aug. 6 Fish Springs flood and another for the July 20 Johnson Lane flooding.

The county sought a disaster declaration from the state on Aug. 11.

However, the state asked for two additional resolutions declaring emergencies as a procedural matter, East Fork Deputy Chief Dave Fogerson said.

The state’s damage assessment team is working on a report to Gov. Brian Sandoval to determine whether the county will be declared a disaster area due to the recent flooding.

On Tuesday night, more than 150 Johnson Lane residents attended a Town Hall meeting organized by commissioners Barry Penzel and Lee Bonner.

Chowbuck resident Julie Shoush said the July 20 flood wiped out her driveway, which was a dip before.

“We dumped $2,100 of road base to fix it,” she said. “That’s just material, it doesn’t count the labor. I went to see what it would take to put in a culvert, and the gist of what I was told is that we have to have a permit, put in a 15-inch culvert with a 15-foot approach apron. We don’t have that kind of money.”

Shoush said her house was built in 1994, and she purchased it in 1999.

She said some of her neighbors have what she called bootlegged culverts that helped them withstand the flood.

“The July 20 flood really slammed us,” she said. “It took our driveway totally out. We need better drainage up here.”

She said the county and the Bureau of Land Management need to come together to solve the problem.

Tuesday’s meeting showed how many people had been affected by the flood, she said.

Resident Dave Goetz said he’s been flooded five times and that he’s ready to move.

“I can’t take it any more,” he said. “If nothing’s done, then I’m going to fix up my property and move out as fast as I can.”

East Valley resident Tom Halton said it didn’t take a 100-year flood for him to get water on his property.

“I’m $5,000 out of pocket from this last event,” he said. “I don’t need a 100-year flood to have water on my property.”

On Wednesday, members of the Local Emergency Planning Committee were told that if the governor declares an emergency additional funding could be available to pay to clear ditches and culverts.

But any emergency funds may only be used to return the area to its prior condition. Any improvements would require funding from other sources.


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