Washoe County is one step closer to finding a more permanent solution to prevent future flood issues in the North Valleys. This could possibly include money for residents whose homes were most affected by last winter's floods. 

This comes after Tuesday's Washoe County Commissioner's meeting, where the board gave county staff the green light to go full steam ahead looking for a permanent flood mitigation plan.

However, developing and implementing that plan could cost up to $600,000. While that price may seem steep, it's important to realize the county has already spent $70,000 per month maintaining temporary flood measures already in place, like the HESCO barrier. That adds up to about $4.5 million to date.

Dwayne Smith, Washoe County Director of Engineering and Capital Projects, says the mitigation plan is a necessary expense--noting that staff cannot go forward without a solid plan of action. Smith also says they are currently working with the community to find potential funding sources for the plan. 

The county is in the process of applying for federal relief. If they receive a FEMA grant, it would help to reimburse some of those costs. This would also allow them to purchase ten homes damaged by the floods--giving that money to the affected homeowners and designating those properties as permanent open space to avoid similar issues in the future.

One Lemmon Valley resident we spoke with, Lisa Maewoods, says she thinks the mitigation efforts are necessary, but she's also concerned about her horses in her backyard--which turned into nothing but mud during the last flooding.

Her concerns are with good reason, though, as Smith adds the county anticipates lake levels to return this upcoming fall and winter season.

Fortunately, the temporary solutions, like the HESCO barrier and water pumps, will remain in place throughout the upcoming season, until the ongoing mitigation efforts are solidified.

For more information about these efforts, as well as the full agenda for the commissioner's meeting, click here