County approves levee funding

The last of the levee between the East Fork of the Carson River and Carson Valley Golf Course. Last year's high water washed away 80 percent of the levee.

The last of the levee between the East Fork of the Carson River and Carson Valley Golf Course. Last year's high water washed away 80 percent of the levee.

With funding approved work can begin soon to shore up the levee that keeps the East Fork of the Carson River from flooding Carson Valley Golf Course and the surrounding homes.

On Thursday, Douglas County commissioners voted 3-0 to approve contributing $102,000 to rebuild the levee after the river washed away four-fifths of it last spring.

Carson Valley Conservation District Grant Manager Richard Wilkinson said the river has been chewing at its west bank for a while.

“There are a lot of issues on the west side of the bank which are causing the river to take a 90-degree shot into the levee,” he said. “We’re going to do some work upstream and downstream to take the energy away from the channel. The Conservation District has a large grant to do some work in this area.”

He said the fires upstream in Alpine County saw a lot of wood, sand and gravel coming into the area.

“We’re going to do more than just stabilize that bank,” he said.

Some of that work will entail getting fill where it was deposited on either side of the levee, then putting big angular rocks to keep the soil in place.

Flood Control Manager Courtney Walker said that while the levee isn’t a Douglas County asset, no one really owns it.

“This issue rises to the top due to the imminent property damage,” she said. “It’s appropriate to cooperate with other agencies and conversation. Going forward the levee does benefit specific homeowners.”

In a letter to commissioners, neighbor JT Humphrey urged them to fix the levee.

“It’s not a matter of ‘if’ the levee breaches, but when in the next few months,” Humphrey said. “When the waters rise, it typically starts the end of December (to the) beginning of January.”

He pointed out that the neighborhood and golf course suffered significant flooding during the 1997 New Year’s Flood.

“It would cost much more to repair one house than it would to fix the levee before the damage is done.”

Niblick Drive resident Cary Olson said he was there for the flood of 1997.

“We got through it OK,” he said. “I just think that things have changed a lot over the last 30 years. I think the sooner this gets done the better.”

Commissioner Sharla Hales said the fact there isn’t any documented ownership on the levee distinguished it from other storm water projects. She pointed out that the stormwater master plan will offer some guidance when that’s complete.

Commissioner Walt Nowosad said that one issue is where the county allows people to build and that needs to be taken into consideration.

However, he agreed that the levee needs to be repaired as quickly as possible.

Up to $95,000 of the county’s share of the work will come from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The total project is estimated to cost $260,000 with The Nevada Division of Water Resources contributing $65,000, the Carson Water Subconservancy coming up with $93,000 and the Carson-Truckee Water Conservancy District making up the other $37,000.


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