More than a month after the New Year's Day flood, federal officials have arrived in Reno to begin surveying damage across the area.
Heavy runoff pushed the Truckee River over its banks, flooding
parts of Reno and Sparks and causing at least $17 million in damage
to public property alone.
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived
three days after President Bush declared much of Northern Nevada a
major disaster area, releasing funds to help with flood cleanup and
The state also is requesting flood assistance from the Small
Business Administration so businesses and homeowners can apply for
low-interest loans for flood repairs.
"It will be a very aggressive approach," Frank Siracusa, chief
of the Nevada Department of Public Safety's Division of Emergency
Management, said of FEMA's expected efforts.
One project inspected by a FEMA official Monday was the repair
of Reno's downtown whitewater park. Both channels of the park were
partially clogged by rocks washed downstream by the Truckee River
during the flood.
The city of Reno could be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the
project, which is expected to cost $250,000 to $300,000, according
to Glen Daily, city associate civil engineer.
The park received only limited structural damage, with some
sidewalks and light poles washed away.
Unless changing weather causes the river to rise and halt repair
efforts, the project should be completed soon and not interfere
with planned kayak races or other special events, officials said.
Also Monday, experts began inspecting the Virginia Street
Bridge. During the flood, erosion damaged the base of the center
support pier under the bridge. Depending on what is found, crews
might need to bring in rock and soil to shore up the damaged area.
City spokesman Steve Frady said southbound traffic at the bridge
will remain restricted to one lane while work is under way,
probably for about the next two weeks.