Community input sought for hazard mitigation planning

RENO, NV (KOLO) Officials from across the region are asking for community input on a hazard mitigation plan. The hazard mitigation plan is required to be updated every five years under federal law. It's a combined effort of regional agencies to keep communities safe.

"Really what we want to do is identify if there is anywhere we are not aware of. Are people experiencing nuisance flooding that hasn't been communicated to the city or the county that we can be doing a better job at?" Zane Beall, a senior consultant for ecology and environment, asks.

Beall says updating the plan is critical because of how much the community is growing and the environment is changing.

"Having a plan means that you're actually taking a look at the risks for the community, understanding who is at risk for flood or wildfire, and what can we actually do to reduce that risk," Beall says.

The plan also guarantees federal funding.

"Projects are expensive; it's very expensive to build a levy, elevate a road," Beall says.

In 2015, Lemmon Valley flooding wasn't included in the plan. Since the flood in 2017, experts say this area is now a major concern and will be included in the 2020 plan.

"We thought the water would go down, but last year we had another heavy precipitation year, and the lakes continued to go up and it's going to be a continued problem," Bob Leighton, emergency manager for the City of Reno, says.

Leighton says for Lemmon Valley, they're checking all angles.

"Currently there's other options; engineers are looking at it, but we have identified it and we have to address it in our hazard mitigation plan," he says.

There will be another community input meeting August 1 at the McKinley Arts Center at 5:30 p.m. You can also take this survey to provide input until September 1.

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