Flood Protection in Local Neighborhood Hinges on Congress

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RENO, NV - Residents of a Hidden Valley neighborhood dodged a bullet Sunday. Steamboat Creek didn't flood into their homes, but they know the next one is only a matter of time. There's a solution that will protect them, but it will literally take an act of Congress.

Most who live in s lower Hidden Valley neighborhood have seen their streets flood at least three times--in 1986. 1997 and 2005. Each left costly damage and an expectation that the next one could come at anytime.

"It's horrible living like that," says resident Ken Morgan. "Every time it starts pouring down rain you know you just got to wonder if something like that's going to happen."

There are solutions. None of them inexpensive.

Officials at the Truckee River Flood Management Project say a proper levee would cost $50 million dollars.

A better, cheaper answer they say, one that's worked elsewhere is raising all of the homes.

It's an approach that's worked elsewhere and there's money in the budget to do it. The problem is the agency can't do the work themselves and giving the money to the residents to do the job would count as taxable income, something few could absorb.

Changing that will take congressional action. Senator Reid has had a bill in the works, but like many bills, it's been held up by the gridlock in Washington.

With the next flood possible anytime, residents and flood management officials are hoping that doesn't last.

"My goal is to get something done in the spring of the year so that maybe by summer we can look at doing the first couple grouping of houses," says the Project's Jay Aldean.

Until something is done, neighborhood residents will continue to keep a wary eye on the weather.