Committee to tour flash flood sites |

Committee to tour flash flood sites

by Christy Chalmers

Nine speakers and their entourage will be returning to the scenes of some spectacular flash floods Friday morning as they discuss ways to make the community safer.

The Buckbrush Flood Safety Coalition is sponsoring the tour, which is designed to show local planners how, in the words of organizer Steve Lewis, “to keep communities flood-safer.”

“What we want to do is share tools and ideas on how to do a better job of planning,” said Lewis. “The overall goal is to do a better job of planning development.”

The tour is open to residents, though Lewis and John Cobourn, a hydrologist who is also organizing the event, noted local planners are the target audience. Scheduled speakers include officials from the Carson City and Douglas County community development staffs, the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Participants are scheduled to make three stops in the Johnson Lane area, followed by a trip to the foot of Kingsbury Grade for discussion on the threat of debris that could wash out of Sierra Nevada canyons.

The tour will conclude with stops in Carson City at the Shenandoah Heights detention basin on the north side of the city and the Timberline/Combs channel stabilization and sediment basin. The excursion is to end at noon.

Lewis and Cobourn said they hope to foster a question-and-answer format, with discussion among participants. They hope the tour will generate ideas for addressing current and future flash flooding problems.

“The basic idea is that the alluvial fans are rather unpredictable and lot of times, it’s really difficult to know how hazardous they are,” said Cobourn “Some fans may be old and not terribly active. We’re going to have some experts out there who can tell the difference. It’s the first time, I think, that all of us have been together to analyze and discuss these sorts of distinctions.”

Cobourn and Lewis have been leading the Buckbrush Flood Safety Coalition. The group has been studying the Buckbrush Wash, which empties in the northeast section of the Johnson Lane area. The coalition has considered options such as a diversion structure in the foothills above the area, but no action has been taken.


What: Flash flood tour for county planners

When: Friday, 8:15 a.m.- noon, various locations in Carson Valley, Carson City

Information: Steve Lewis, 782-9960