For Immediate Release
Reno, Nevada. July 17, 2014. We’ve all heard the saying “when it rains, it pours” and that saying couldn’t be more true in Washoe County. Wet and wild weather is always a possibility in Northern Nevada, so year-round the Washoe County Community Services Department prepares its 1,091 miles of roadways for heavy rain and potential flooding. Operations and Maintenance Division crews are continually inspecting and maintaining the County’s open ditches and storm drains.
It is important to remember that stormwater conveyance systems (curbs and gutters, catch basins, storm drain pipes, culverts, ditches, detention ponds, etc.) are designed to convey runoff from common or minor storms, snow melt, etc. During larger storm events like thunderstorms and micro-bursts, these same facilities which are designed to convey the water from the majority of storms may overflow, resulting in localized flooding.
“We put a tremendous amount of effort into maintaining our drainage system and our crews are on-call and will respond at all hours,” said Washoe County Road Operations Superintendent Adam Searcy. “Preparation is key, but during a storm event, please use extreme caution and contact our offices if you encounter flooding, so we can pinpoint the areas of most concern.”
Both the County and the public play a pivotal role in stormwater management and community members are asked to make sure the drains and ditches near and around their neighborhoods are clear of debris. For more information on storm drainage standards, view them online (see Article 420).
Ways you can prevent and prepare for flooding:
- Visually inspect drainage facilities in your area. You should clear out drains, culverts and ditches in the spring, fall and after any significant storm event. Notify the responsible entity if a drain needs attention.
- Install and maintain properly designed improvements such as ditches, pipes, berms, etc. to protect your property from localized flooding.
- Call Engineering and Capital Projects at (775) 328-2041 for assistance to determine if a permit is required for proposed improvements.
Flash flood safety reminders from the National Weather Service in Reno:
- Check your phone. Flash Flood warnings are issued when flooding is occurring, and will alarm on cellphones (if enabled). Search for “FEMA WEA”.
- Avoid flooded areas. It only takes six inches of fast moving water to sweep you off your feet.
- Turn around, don’t drown. Most flash flood deaths occur in vehicles. Moving water 1-2 feet deep will carry away most vehicles.