Lemmon Valley Flooding - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Lemmon Valley Flooding

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The melting snow and the rain is continuing to cause problems in Lemmon valley, and county engineers say things could get worse before they get better.

About a week ago KTVN Channel 2 News visited some flooded homes near Swan Lake. Today we heard from residents on nearby Tupelo Street who are overwhelmed by the damage. We also checked in with county officials who are reaching out to them.

"When it first rained there was so much water in there that it made the whole thing collapse", says Danny Cleous, talking about his neighbor's septic tank. On most days, running water is scarce, but many wells on Tupelo street are flooded and unusable.

Cleous says the saturated and shifting earth is causing structural damage, too. He's lived here 38 years and is frustrated with what he sees as the county's lack of support.

"We've hand-placed notifications on people's doors. Washoe County Emergency Management has come out with the Red Cross, come out with the National Guard," says Dwayne Smith, Director of Engineering with Washoe County.

Smith explains that Lemmon Valley is a geographical basin- the bottom of the bathtub.  That means all the run off, snow melt and rain eventually finds its way here.

"These front yards, they're all flooded, “ says neighbor Nolan Wells.

 "The solution,” says Cleous “Clean out the lake.  That's number one."

It's not that simple says Smith, even if there were a way to pump out that much water and sediment - there's nowhere to put it.

"Think of it - if you had - your house had a basement and the basement is flooding and you took that water and tried to pump it up to the upstairs, it's just gonna run back down" says Smith

The folks we spoke to aren't convinced there's no technical solution, but are also increasingly worried about what will happen next.

"Pretty soon after all this melts, we're gonna have a lot more water" says Cleous, clearly troubled about the near future.

Yes, things could get worse, says Smith. What he doesn't agree with are claims that the county has ignored Lemmon Valley because the area is less affluent. "It doesn't matter if it's here in Lemmon Valley, if it's in the south in the Toll Road area, up in Incline, obviously, we're responding the same", says Smith

While not an option for everyone, some residents have decided to relocate until the flood waters recede.

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