Johnson Lane residents sue countyover flash flooding
June 15, 2016
The owners of nearly two-dozen properties located in northern Carson Valley have sued Douglas County in connection with two years of summer flash flooding.
According to the lawsuit filed on June 1 in Douglas County District Court, the county should have known that the approval of an upstream subdivision altered the natural drainage of their property.
That subdivision, the 132-unit Skyline Ranch, was first approved in 1994. Most of the homes were built in the first years after the millennium.
Fifteen of the homes involved in the lawsuit are on Stewart Avenue, Esaw Street, Raeline Lane and Downs Drive. The other eight are located across Johnson Lane.
The lawsuit filed by the Reno law firm of Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa says that after the July 2014 flooding, the county cut ditches and culverts deeper without proper engineering
"It cut the ditches and culverts in a manner to direct water flow toward the properties of plaintiffs and in contrast to the natural flow," the lawsuit said. "Douglas County's conduct increased the risks to plaintiffs and plaintiffs' property."
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The law firm says because the claims exceed $50,000, the lawsuit is exempt from arbitration.
Douglas County Emergency Management estimated the damage from the July 8 flooding was more than $2 million. It affected more than 200 properties and covered 300 acres according to the lawsuit.