Governor asks NDOT to look at flooding cause at North Carson home

Gov. Kenny Guinn on Thursday asked the head of the Nevada Department of Transportation to determine who is at fault for flooding which caused thousands of dollars in damage at a North Carson City home.

Tammy Lubich told the Transportation Board headed by Guinn the New Year's flood resulted in as much as 6 feet of water in her yard - which never occurred in previous floods. She said the difference is that NDOT and Ames Construction piled huge amounts of dirt on the property next door during construction of the freeway, blocking the natural drainage route in that area. The Lubich's property is east of the new freeway on Mark Way just south of Arrowhead Drive.

With that mound of dirt in the way, she said, the water had nowhere to go but their property.

And she said neither NDOT nor Ames Construction came when they called for help the morning the flooding started.

"As a direct result of the new freeway construction, my property ended up being flooded," she said.

She said the result was one car that had been in the family more than 30 years was destroyed, part of the foundation on their guest house sank into the ground, an out building storing gardening and other equipment flooded along with their garage and there was several feet of water over their septic tank and leach field. She said damages may reach $100,000.

"If you do anything to affect the flow of water, to affect somebody who wasn't affected before, you're responsible," Guinn said. "We'll follow up and if Ames or we changed the flow of water, we'll take care of it."

He said the Lubich family should be "made whole" for the damages.

NDOT Director Jeff Fontaine said he would send an engineer to the site.

"If the department's responsible, we'll take care of that," he said. "If the contractor is responsible, they should take care of it."

John Lubich said theirs wasn't the only property damaged. A house next door suffered water damage and the two properties to the west both had their septic systems fail after the flooding, he said.

Guinn also said they should be prime candidates for funding from a Homeowner Disaster Assistance Program the state created last year. That program can provide homeowners up to $5,400 in help after a flood or fire.

But Lubich said he had already called and was told the money wasn't for lawns, out-buildings, landscaping and personal property - just for homes themselves.

-- Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.

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