Gov. Brian Sandoval moves to seek solution to Washoe Valley flooding
Gov. Brian Sandoval moved quickly on Monday to try resolve issues caused by serious flooding in the Browns Creek area of Washoe Valley.
More than a dozen west-side area residents attended the Nevada transportation board meeting saying recent storms caused major water flow down Parker Ranch Road and into Browns Creek and across numerous parcels of private property.
The residents told the board Washoe County officials say it’s an NDOT problem but NDOT says it’s a Washoe County problem.
Fred Stiteler told the board some one needs to “put together a group that includes Washoe County and includes NDOT.”
He said the system of culverts under Old-395 is completely inadequate to handle major water flows.
“The simple fact is whether it’s because of I-580 or old-395, the water is going to come down that road and it should go somewhere other than our property,” he said.
Resident Jerry Pieretti said the water cuts channels four or more feet deep, making it so some residents can’t even get to their property. He said ground water saturation is also creating problems with their septic systems.
“We have to have some means of displacing that water, moving it to Washoe Lake,” he said.
“I can’t fix my flooding until the ditch gets fixed” said resident Susan Strandberg.
Resident Jim Overly said he has lived in the area 43 years and that the problems were created when all the development converted the area from agricultural to residential. He said the culverts installed are unable to handle the water. He and Strandberg said neither Washoe County nor NDOT have come to the table, nor has the owner of Browns Creek.
“I think we can come together, put our heads together and come up with a solution,” Overly said.
NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon said he would have his people set up a meeting to try resolve the problems.
That prompted Sandoval to ask, “could we do it sooner than later?” The governor said more storms are expected later this week.
He pointed out that those residents were already in the room, NDOT has its engineers in the building and officials from the Regional Transportation Commission in Washoe County were present.
At Sandoval’s suggestion, Malfabon told his staff to escort those valley residents and officials to another conference room and start working out a solution to the problem.
In addition, Sandoval asked Malfabon to work with Douglas County residents near the Highway 88 and Centerville intersection to fix safety issues there.
Pete Sinnott, who owns ranch property there, said there are numerous accidents and injuries there because the intersection just isn’t safe.
“It has become since I’ve owned it a disaster zone with sometimes two-a-day accidents,” Sinnott said.
According to NDOT, from Sept. 1, 2006 through Sept. 1, 2016, there were 62 crashes and two deaths at the intersection. A third death, as a result of a December crash at the intersection, was reported in late January.
Sinnott said his solution would be a round-about that slows drivers coming down Highway 88. Malfabon said he would work with Sinnott and others in Douglas County to try fix the situation.