Reno Flood Victims WIll Be Reimbursed

By: Daniel Chanin Email
By: Daniel Chanin Email

Cleanup efforts continue in a Southwest Reno neighborhood following a flood during last week's storm.

The flood waters came out of the last chance ditch...but the reason it flooded was most likely due to nearby construction.

The Peterson Engineering Group working on the city project will reimburse two homeowners for cleanup costs. But the city is insisting that's not an admission of guilt and the record rainfall is solely to blame for this mess.

"There's more emphasis on helping the homeowners and not looking to put responsibility on anyone," says Gene Tortelli, an associate civil engineer with the City of Reno. "We just get those guys fixed up."

Tortelli and representatives from Peterson met with Eric Norberg on Thursday. He's a homeowner who saw his backyard transformed into a swamp last Friday.

Tortelli says even though no one is at fault for that damage, Peterson is responsible for managing the property that triggered the flood.

"We're not putting blame on anyone, but they're going to be doing that for us."

Construction crews had been working on improving the sewer lift station, which flows underneath the ditch, but wasn't damaged during the storm. According to Tortelli, planners took all of the necessary precautions when designing the project.

"We've been working with the Last Chance Ditch ever since we began this project. The timing and intensity of the rain really caused this to happen."

The city and Peterson are confident they did everything they could to limit the damage after the ditch gave way. Tortelli points out how Peterson personally brought in crews from the Northern Nevada Disaster Management to pump water out of homes; now it's just a matter of finishing the job.

"The work they did shows they're doing the job," says Tortelli. "It was just a natural event."

Homeowners will assess further damage to their front and backyards after last week's heavy snowfall thaws out. The city or Peterson could pay for additional costs if more damage is discovered.


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