Costs of flood could reach $3 million | NevadaAppeal.com

Costs of flood could reach $3 million

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City officials expect cleaning and repair costs attributed to this weekend’s rain storm could run between $2 million and $3 million.

Initial cost for such things as sandbags, employee hours and other immediate costs already reached $150,000 by Monday, said Andrew Burnham, community development director.

Officials say things could have been much worse, however, and are continuing to assess the damage, response and preparation methods. Many of these findings will be presented to the Board of Supervisors during their Thursday meeting.

“We’re feeling pretty good about measures we took before the storm,” Burham said.

However, there still were some trouble spots around the city. Among hard-hit areas were downtown, Ash Canyon and Murphy Drive.

Berms at Ash Canyon and a large basin above Western Nevada Community College, for example, helped mitigate damage in these areas, though there were still many problems.

Road crumbled away at Murphy Drive. Flooding on Nye Lane likely happened because someone placed a large sign in front of the drainage outlet, which kept water from flowing through.

And all the water and mud flowed into the downtown and west side because the drainage system there “just doesn’t have that kind of capacity,” he said.

Late Friday and Saturday, the storm dropped about 3 inches of rain on the city and up to 6 inches on the surrounding hills, leaving with it flooding, dirty and, in some instances, damaged roads, among other troubles.

And the work has just begun. This is only the beginning of winter.

“We need to be prepared for a few more months,” Burnham said.

Along with the continuing cleanup and repairs, sandbags likely will be needed again. The city prepared 170,000 sandbags for this storm. The plan is to surpass this number, with help from prison crews, and place them in more locations around the city so residents won’t have to travel too far to get them, as well as to continue keeping an ample supply at the Corporate Yard and at sites on Ormsby Boulevard at Winnie Lane and Washington Street.

Burnham pointed out that people often helped city employees by helping themselves, and by helping their neighbors when they were in trouble.

“People really pitched in,” he said. “It’s gratifying.”

The Nevada Department of Transportation also surmised that the damage could have been a lot worse.

“We fared pretty well,” said Scott Magruder, NDOT spokesman.

The worst problem was the sinkhole on Highway 342 near Silver City. Highway 50 near Scolari’s supermarket, an area notorious for flooding, was in much better shape than in previous winters because of improvements related to the Carson City freeway project, he said.

“No other roads were undermined and there were no major mudslides,” Magruder said. “Considering the amount of rainfall, things turned out to be in pretty good shape.”

A heavy amount of debris came down from the hills scorched during the 2004 Waterfall fire, but whether revegetation of the hills is still intact still is unknown, said Rich Harvey, resource program coordinator for the Nevada Division of Forestry.

“The work done after the Waterfall fire certainly helped minimized impacts from this event,” Harvey said.

n Contact reporter Terri Harber at harber@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.