Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval says flood battle is not over |

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval says flood battle is not over

Geoff Dornan
An aerial shot of recent flood damage in Dayton
Courtesy of Lyon County |

Heller says latest request will be processed

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said Tuesday he has been assured by Federal Emergency Management Agency officials they will process Nevada’s latest request for help dealing with flood damage.

Roy Wright of FEMA made the commitment to Heller during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Nevada’s first request for help was answered in just three days. The second was sent by Gov. Brian Sandoval and echoed by Heller and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., March 9.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said Monday the state is doing everything possible to deal with damage from this year’s flooding but will have to keep up the work because the battle is far from over.

“We’ve received 55 feet of snow up there and that’s got to come down,” he said.

Sandoval said the Department of Transportation and other state agencies including Emergency Management have done everything possible thus far. He said he’s especially concerned about the flooding in Lemmon Valley north of Reno.

There, he said spring runoff could increase the number of affected homes from about 20 to as many as 200 because, “as the snow melts, it’s going to flow to this location.”

“I’m not trying to scare anybody because I think we’ve got it under control,” he said. “This is costing millions of dollars.”

He said 17,000 tons of sand has been delivered in Lemmon Valley to build a flood barrier.

He said state officials are working with the Army Corps of Engineers to find a solution.

“Out in Lemmon Valley those folks are praying for a miracle and we’ve got to find a miracle,” he said.

NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon told the transportation board they should have U.S. 95 south of Fallon re-opened by the end of the week. He said closure was necessary to install a box culvert to handle the huge amount of water from Lahontan Reservoir he said was eventually going to flood the highway. He said the road to Montello, which was cut off from the world by flood damage in Elko County, also has been re-opened. In addition, he said they’re also doing work on Kingsbury Grade, replacing a pipe washed out by flooding, and on the road to Sutcliffe at Pyramid Lake.

NDOT District Engineer Thor Dyson told the governor they’re also watching the level of Washoe Lake carefully. He said at this point experts don’t feel like the lake will reach the pavement of I580/US395 through the valley. He said extra water is now being released down Steamboat Ditch, which eventually reaches the Truckee River.