Study to examine flood structure |

Study to examine flood structure

A $55,000 grant to study preliminary design of a flood control structure upstream from Stephanie Way has been approved.

Douglas County announced receiving the grant on Tuesday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Carson Water Subconservancy District.

County Engineer Erik Nilssen said the grant will pay to examine the drainage above Stephanie to find the best place and a cost estimate.

The grant is the first step in intercepting flash flood waters, such as those that roiled through the neighborhood during the summers of 2014 and 2015.

“The main reason we went after the grant, is because dams are so specialized, there is not a good cost estimate of what it would take to construct this type of structure,” Nilssen said Tuesday. “We don’t know the exact location or what the structure will look like.”

However, it could be a long low dam with a pond located behind it, he said.

The study will include a cost-benefit study, which will determine whether FEMA will contribute to the cost, county Public Information Officer Melissa Blosser said.

“The cost benefit analysis will tell us how much we can save in damages in the future by constructing the structure today,” she said. “If the cost benefit analysis shows a greater than 1:1 ratio, there is a good chance that FEMA would pay for up to 75 percent of the structure’s construction costs.”

Damage throughout the county from last summer’s flooding topped $2.2 million.

Depending on what the study determines, up to 300 parcels located roughly between Terry Ann Street and Chowbuck Drive would receive some protection from flood waters.

“The Stephanie Lane Wash has never been identified by FEMA as a floodplain, so many homeowners or potential buyers are probably not aware of the wash’s high flood potential,” Nilssen said. “Recent flash flooding caused damage in the vicinity of the project due to its sediment laden floodwaters.”

The preliminary design work will be performed by R.O. Anderson Engineering, a local engineering firm with over 25 years of experience in flood studies and grant funding applications.

County Manager Jim Nichols and the county staff have been meeting with the Flood Control Roads Task Force to develop a strategy for a County Wide Storm Water Master Plan and identify potential funding mechanisms. The grant will help the county address at least some of the north valley’s flooding issues, officials said.