Washoe County begins pulling flood resources from Lemmon Valley


Washoe County officials on Tuesday released a letter to residents of Lemmon Valley, which remains flooded after the wettest water year on record.

Specifically, the release serves as an update on the county's recovery efforts for Lemmon Valley residents.

"During this record-breaking wet weather season, we hope you have been helped by the resources Washoe County and other agencies have worked to provide, as well as the coordination with many of you on specific needs," the Washoe County Incident Command Team wrote. "Because we are dedicated to the recovery of the Lemmon Valley area and continued transparent and open communication with the community, we wanted to share the next steps of the recovery plan with you."

The command post for the incident will be removed on Thursday, April 20, due to the reduction in inquiries, according to the county. Residents needing help can still call 775-328-2003 and

Below is a snapshot of what the letter to Lemmon Valley residents entailed:

Portable showers

Officials say the portable shower units will be removed on Thursday, April 20, due to their decline in use. Notably, a local church, Fellowship Community Church, has agreed to continue to offer showers to residents at their facility, located at 130 Hydraulic Street.

Portable toilets

On April 29, the county says it will begin the transition of homeowners taking responsibility for portable toilets, should the need remain. Officials say this is due to many homeowners informing the county that they do not need the portable toilets that were originally delivered to them. However, residents who still need them will be provided a list of companies to potentially rent the units from directly.

Debris management

Officials wanted to remind or make residents aware of the Waste Management-sponsored "Free Dump Weekends" at the Lockwood Landfill. This week -- April 20, 21 and 22 -- are the last free dump days. Additionally, officials say, residents are allowed four free dump days each year at the Stead Transfer Station with their ID.

Detour routes

Washoe County says it has received multiple reports of driver's speeding on the detour route, including the dirt section of Deodor. Officials are asking drivers to watch their speed, adding that speed trailers will be used on these roads and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office will monitor speeds.

Officials said road closures will remain in effect indefinitely.

Crawl spaces

Officials also stressed the importance of opening up crawl space vents for proper circulation.

"The sandbags and plastic need to be removed to allow the air vents within the crawl space to circulate air under the home," officials said. "If this is not done, the wet conditions will turn to mildew and mold and could potentially create health issues."

Recovery continues

Washoe County says it will continue to have 24-hour pumping of the water, resource coordination through Washoe 311, and it will remain dedicated to the extended recovery process.

County Community Services Director Dave Solaro said, "we really wanted to let the community know that we're still here, we're still doing things for them, but we're also looking at things that aren't being utilized."

Some of the resources that aren't being used are costing taxpayer dollars. Solaro said, "we're just trying to make sure that we're doing the fiscally responsible thing for everybody within the county."

He said the four-mile barrier around Swan Lake will remain in place until water evaporates enough to make county officials comfortable removing it.

Solaro said pumps will also remain on scene and crews will continue to monitor them. "24 hours-a-day they're out there checking on all the pumps, making sure the pumps are operating properly because we still have water seeping out of the ground."

To read the entire letter send to Lemmon Valley residents on Tuesday, click here.

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