River flooding preparation on paper
While the chances of a big flood on the Carson River become more remote with each dry day this winter, preparations for one continue across Douglas County
“With recent flash flooding here in Douglas County, combined with the future potential risk of a major flood event, we felt it was important to bring everyone together to refresh and in some cases redefine the various roles and responsibilities of those charges with the management of such an event,” said Tod Carlini, District Fire Chief and Emergency Manager. “Douglas County’s combined strength during such events is vested with our ability to all work together in a coordinated manner regardless of the jurisdictions, agencies, or volunteer groups we may represent.”
Work on the river is beginning to clear snags and reduce rock bars deposited in the years since the Corps of Engineers conducted restoration work after the New Year’s flood of 1997,
Douglas County has not activated the Emergency Operations Center to full capacity to address any countywide situation in the last 20 years, Calini said. The last time a full deployment was necessary was in the 1997 flood.
But in addition to the work to improve the river’s carrying capacity, East Fork Fire District has conducted orientation for nearly 100 people on the county’s flood emergency guide, which includes maps and points along the river that could be difficult in case of a flood.
Those who’ve been introduced to the guide include personnel from the county, local general improvement districts, Towns and Fire District employees, the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, the Visitors Authority, the Chamber of Commerce and community volunteer group leaders such as Douglas County Search and Rescue, Posse, CERT and WAVE.
Flood Response Guide Workshops held on Feb. 2 and 16 at the East Fork Protection District Office. The purpose of the workshop was to gather partnering agencies together and provide education on the functional, operational and strategic direction that would occur under flood conditions in Douglas County. All of this information has been assembled into a simple guide extracted from the comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan for those who would be assigned key roles in emergency management operations during a flood.
The two-hour workshops, presented by Deputy Chief of Operations Dave Fogerson, walked each participant through the document.
Group exercises were included where attendees were able to work with other attendees who under normal working conditions, would probably not have any interaction. During an emergency situation of great magnitude, such as a large flood event, the likelihood of individuals having to work with others they may not even know is quite high.
“We are very fortunate to have so many talented and dedicated people, either in public service, the private sector, or volunteering in this county,” Carlini said. “I am quite confident in our ability to manage a large flood event after this training. Our hope is that we can apply the same methodology, via response guides, for other major events such as an earthquake.”
The guide was primarily developed by Fogerson and funded by a grant from the Nevada Division of Emergency Management.
If focuses primarily on river flooding. Douglas County experienced flash flooding along the alluvial fan in the north and east Valley.