Flood Awareness Week could not have come sooner for Douglas County residents | RecordCourier.com

Flood Awareness Week could not have come sooner for Douglas County residents

by Rachel Spacek
Johnson Lane residents Fran Steffen and her husband Tom, right, view the Johnson Lane Area Drainage Master Plan as Douglas County Engineer Erik Nilssen looks on during the Flood Awareness Event on Tuesday.
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

Flood Awareness Week could not have come sooner with a flood watch alert issued for Douglas County.

The alert informed residents that creeks and streams in the area are expected to rise rapidly with minor flooding possible through Thursday evening. The alert also said recent burn scars from fires in the past few years will bring a higher risk for flooding or possible debris flows.

Members of the Nevada Flood Awareness Committee and Douglas County hosted an educational forum on Tuesday to inform Carson Valley residents on flood preparation and safety.

The event included representatives from the county, East Fork Fire Protection District, Nevada Division of Water Resources, Army Corps of Engineers, Carson Water Subconservancy District, Nevada Division of Emergency Management, FEMA National Flood Insurance Program, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Nevada Department of Transportation and the National Weather Service, who set up booths in the Douglas County Community Center to inform residents on ways to be prepared for potential flooding.

According to Nevada Floodplain Manager Bunny Bishop, Northern Nevada experiences its largest floods during the winter. She said, “knowing what to do before, during and after a flood can save lives, protect pets and help minimize property damage.”

Residents can check FEMA flood maps and the Flood Viewer on the Douglas County website under flood protection information and can call the Douglas County Stormwater Department at (775) 782-6215 for answers to their flood-related questions.

“We want to encourage residents to come down and speak with our staff about flood preparation as we head into the winter,” said Douglas County Stormwater Program Manager Courtney Walker.

Gov. Brian Sandoval declared Nov. 12-17 Flood Awareness Week.

Last winter, Douglas County and Carson City experienced severe flooding. In March, Sandoval asked President Trump and the Army Corps of Engineers to direct disaster relief for Northern Nevada. He also asked the Army Corps of Engineers to make sure the areas are prepared for future flooding.

During the informational event in Douglas County on Tuesday, dozens of residents were presented with information on how to sign up for emergency alerts, printed maps of their properties, FEMA flood maps and information on the Johnson Lane Area Drainage Master Plan.

Residents also were informed of the potential travel impacts flooding could cause. According to Douglas County, highways 395, 50, and interstates 580 and 80 could be damaged by heavy storm runoff and landslides.

“Our goal is to create flood resilient communities in Nevada that encourage protection of life, property, water quality, environmental values and the preservation of natural floodplain functions,” said Bishop.

Douglas County recommends residents make a flood emergency plan for themselves and their families, build or restock an emergency preparedness kit and have enough food, water and supplies to last up to three weeks.